With so many incredible beachside and country towns in Australia, it makes sense to retire away from the city with all the lifestyle benefits that come with it. However, younger generations are reaching for the best of both worlds also, with major NBN connectivity providing fast and reliable broadband across regional locations.
Lifestyle locations, like Byron Bay and the surrounding Northern Rivers region, are identified as super connectivity hot spots for an e-change.
A social movement towards lifestyle towns
Along with long strolls on the beach, inspiring countryside views and readily available farm-to-table produce, lifestyle towns offer something that’s off limits for many people in our capital cities. That is, affordable housing that’s usually a whole lot bigger and closer to restaurants, shops and recreational facilities - not to mention those sweeping views.
The NBN's Super Connected Lifestyle Locations Report found that ‘lifestyle happiness’ was the main reason for Aussies making the switch from the city, however the cost of living was also a key factor for almost a third of those surveyed. In the past, one of the biggest hurdles to moving to a lifestyle town was the long commute to the city for work, in order to keep up with those costs.
Enter super internet connectivity and this prediction from Bernard Salt is set to come true:
“I predict a cultural shift of ‘e-change' movement which could see the rise of new silicon suburbs or beaches in regional hubs as universal access to fast broadband drives a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation outside our capital cities.”
Super connectivity increases the option for work/life balance.
Reduced commute times lead the way
Around one in six Australian’s surveyed noted unhappiness due to work commute times.
Around one in six Australian’s surveyed noted unhappiness due to work commute times, therefore many sea-changers, tree-changers and e-changers move to regions within easy distance of CBDs. However, as the NBN™ network rollout reaches a broader area, lifestyle towns located within about a two-hour commute are on the rise. Currently, there are around 600 locations within accessible commute times identified as top spots for a lifestyle shift, complete with excellent connectivity.
The ability to telecommute effectively provides the flexibility to work from home more often than not, significantly reducing commute times. Currently, it’s estimated that 400,000 Australians already work from home and this is projected to grow to more than a million workers in the next 10 years. It’s little wonder, as those who’ve already made this lifestyle shift report being much happier in terms of work-life balance.
The lifestyle benefits of e-change
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Find properties in growth areas
Though so often associated with weekend breaks and retirement destinations, booming infrastructure in regional and coastal towns means there’s little need to leave. Healthcare, retail outlets, services and fantastic transport links rest side by side with the quaint cafes, long stretches of sand and rainforest walks that enhance overall lifestyle.
There are more than 100 such towns just within a two-hour drive of the Sydney CBD, from the surf-haven of Wollongong to the creative hub of riverside Maitland. Queensland’s ever-popular Sunshine Coast is littered with stunning beach and country towns, while Victoria’s Ballarat offers tree-change charm with big city facilities - and these places are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
As connectivity increases, the ability to make a lifestyle shift is becoming so much more accessible and Australians of all ages are jumping on the bandwagon. For you, this could mean the chance to launch into affordable property investment in a growth region, or the option to live that dream lifestyle you’ve always wanted like Aaron Egan, a consultant to DPN and a real e-changer.
Aaron and his son Isaac at their local beach
Aaron lived in Sydney for 30 years, but recently moved to Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. His primary motivators were nullifying the commute, more affordable property and a relaxed pace of living for his young family.
He explains "I’m fortunate that my services as a marketing consultant are portable, however, I'm confident the way I work will soon become the standard for white-collar professionals, as progressive companies continue to shift away from rigid 9-to-5 employment structures, and embrace a distributed workforce that is happier and therefore more productive."
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