The Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle is creating growth in regional cities and towns which is putting Sydney and Melbourne in the shade.

Because of the importance of this trend nationwide, I’ve just published a new report – my National Top 10 for locations expected to thrive as property markets as a result of this trend.

The fringe areas of major cities, regional cities, hill change towns and sea change enclaves are all beneficiaries of this compelling trend.

While property prices are decreasing (generally speaking) in the two biggest cities, smaller cities and regional locations are experiencing strong demand and steady price uplift.

Ultra low vacancy rates are another element of the strength of these markets.

It has been driven by technology and improved transport links, as more and more people realise the possibilities of working remotely – and thereby being able to escape the big, expensive, congested cities.

It was a rising tide before the pandemic, with increasing numbers of Australians realising the possibilities of working from home.

The Covid-19 lockdowns have enhanced a trend that was already under way, turning a steady drift into a stampede, by opening the eyes of more Australians to the potential.

Leading real estate research analyst Simon Pressley of Propertyology says: “People have been leaving the big expensive cities for some time. Sydney loses 20,000 to 25,000 to internal migration every year. The only capital cities that gained population from internal migration in 2019 were Brisbane and Hobart. The next set of population figures will show an even bigger surge towards the regions.”

Buyers’ agent Kate Hill of Adviseable says regional centres – like Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo Newcastle, the Central Coast and the Sunshine Coast – are booming.

She says: “The issue in many of these markets is that there isn’t enough stock on the market, so it’s very competitive for buyers. There are more buyers than sellers so prices are rising.”

The trend was first visible in Regional Victoria with people retreating to hill change towns within 1-2 hours of Melbourne. Locations close to Sydney were also feeling it.

Then the impetus rippled further out to regional centres more distant from the capital cities. It has reached as far north as Darwin, where Melbourne residents and others have headed for the relative safety and affordability of the northern capital (plus the warmer climate).

Before the pandemic, Queensland was already on the relocation wish-lists of many interstate buyers. Now, with many people working remotely, there is a growing herd migrating north.

This Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle has been a key factor in strong price performance in most parts of Australia throughout the pandemic.

In the markets outside the capital cities, there has been a record of growth throughout the Covid period.

Regional Tasmania has risen in each of the seven months from March through September, while the regions of South Australia, Queensland and NSW have each had just one down month in those seven months since the pandemic hit Australia in February 2020.

In the first nine months of 2020, to the end of September, house prices have risen 7% in Regional Tasmania, 5% in Regional South Australia, and 3-4% in New South Wales and Queensland – according to CoreLogic data.

Individual markets have done considerably better than those averages, including locations in Ballarat, Bendigo, Orange, the Central Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Mackay which have experienced double-digit annual price growth.

We expect ongoing growth as Australia heads towards a new real estate boom, led by the locations which lie in the path of the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle.

So, to find out more about the places I think are going to show significant growth as a result of this very important trend, get yourself a copy of my new report …

The Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle, National Top 10.

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Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle