Regional areas the real winners of COVID-19

Wednesday 16 Sep 2020

There’s been a notable surge in demand across many Australian regions, with properties recording short days on market and strong competitive numbers, the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association (REBAA) has flagged.


REBAA says buyer’s agents are witnessing “a steady surge in regional property markets” for both investors and owner-occupiers, despite COVID-19. REBAA president Cate Bakos, says the demand is being partly driven by young families, relocating workers and retirees who are looking to optimise their superannuation savings.


“For those who seek a sea-change or tree-change lifestyle, the appeal of some of our nation’s regions is enough to tempt many to opt out of city life and pursue a welcome change,” she said.


“For investors who have witnessed some particularly strong regional city capital growth rates, the added bonus of (typically) stronger rental yields has presented an attractive option for those who favour a more balanced portfolio.”


Data suggests in excess of 50,000 (net) Australian residents have migrated from capital city locations to the regions in the last three years alone. Five out of eight capital cities had a net decline in population from internal migration last year. Brisbane and Hobart were the biggest beneficiaries of the flight from capital cities, but Melbourne only gained 590 people and every other capital city had a net loss. Sydney alone has lost 53,000 residents in the last two years.


These migration patterns out of cities will increase with better broadband access and remote-working technologies.


Across regional Australia, well-presented first homes as well as homes suited to young families and retirees are selling quickly. People are more conscious of personal and food security, and the freedom to grow one's own vegetables has suddenly become a major priority. This has translated to increased demand for properties with this potential.


First National Lifestyle Specialists located within a two-hour radius of major

capitals are all reporting a sharp increase in inquiry from city residents who are keen to action what were previously 'future plans'. The phrase of the days is certainly Carpé Diem, or Seize the Day!


With the success and efficiency working-from-home having been demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns, employers are far more willing to consider part or full-time arrangements. This has opened a world of opportunities for employees in call centres, administrative, marketing and managerial roles.