Are you one of the 22% of investors considering buying in regional Australia? According to the 2020 PIPA Annual Investor Sentiment Survey, investor interest in regional markets is up from 15% in 2019. Coastal locations are also on the rise, from 8% to 12%.
CoreLogic data shows that regional house prices have risen at a higher annual rate than in capital cities. This hasn’t occurred since 2004 and COVID-19 is a front runner in the switch from the city to the country or the coast.
Why Australians are relocating
Lifestyle movements like sea changes, tree changes or even ‘e-changes’ aren’t anything new. However, the trend of swapping the city for booming regional centres has accelerated on the back of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The trend of swapping the city for booming regional centres has accelerated on the back of COVID-19 lockdowns.
With many businesses and employees switching to remote working arrangements, taking the leap towards a lifestyle change is easier than ever. New technology, like the rollout of the NBN network, ensures that lifestyle towns are ready for the increasing remote workforce.
Furthermore, regional markets feature more affordable properties that tend to be bigger and closer to recreational facilities, adding to the lifestyle appeal. Speaking of which, reduced commute times, stunning natural landscapes and a slower pace attract those wishing to escape the big smoke.
For people that already own property in a capital city, the price difference is a huge driver for change. Selling a capital city property and then purchasing a regional property at a lower price enables them to pay down a big chuck of their mortgage. We spoke to customers considering selling a modest home in Oyster Bay in Sydney’s Sutherland shire for $1.2m to buy a 4 bedroom home with a pool on the Sunshine Coast for $700k. Their mortgage will be less than $250k as a result.
Booming infrastructure, population growth, housing affordability and fantastic recreation options lead the way in these investor hotspots:
Beautiful beaches, rainforest trails and oceanfront restaurants are top draws in Shellharbour. The NSW South Coast town has a predicted population growth of 34.6% to 2041. Significant infrastructure investment includes a $16 million airport upgrade, $251 million on health services and $128 million for Shellharbour Hospital. The median house price is affordable for seaside living, at $616,000.
Located on the proposed Canberra to Sydney fast rail corridor, Goulburn offers a tree change within easy reach of the city. The historic town is a foodie destination that’s dotted with art galleries and wineries. A median house price under $500,000 makes Goulburn an attractive lifestyle choice for young families. The rental yield performance averaged 5.3% over the last 10 years.
Logan is expected to be one of the fastest-growing cities in QLD, with huge population growth of 81% from 2011 to 2036. It’s just 30 minutes from the Brisbane CBD and a $13 billion economy is set to soar with 53,000 projected jobs. A $19 billion infrastructure pipeline includes Logan Hospital upgrades, the Yatala Industrial Hub, new schools, town centres and regional parks.
Resting in the foothills of the southern highlands, Thirlmere is surrounded by World Heritage-listed nature parks and home to the popular NSW Rail Museum. As part of the fast-growing Macarthur region, 85% population growth is predicted to 2041, with 40,000 jobs on the way. Projected infrastructure includes the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and Wilton New Town’s retail and commercial centre.
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A vibrant arts community combines with a booming food scene on the banks of the Hunter River in Maitland. Already the largest regional economy in NSW, an additional 62,000 jobs are set to be created by 2036. A leader in employment will be the new Maitland Hospital and a $6.4 billion investment into a local health services precinct. Commuting is a breeze, with government funding for road upgrades between Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney.
Wollongong is ever-evolving on a backdrop of pristine beaches, rainforests and entertainment zones. The population is tipped to rise by 16.5% in the next 20 years, with the infrastructure to match. A new, $500 million wellbeing precinct for the University of Wollongong will join the growth of Port Kembla and the development of West Dapto in creating hundreds of jobs and thousands of new dwellings respectively.
For investors in regional property markets, the good news looks set to keep coming for 2021.
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