The lifestyle trend driving property growth in Australia’s regional areas

Leading property experts Terry Ryder and Effie Zahos have revealed the dominant lifestyle trend and factors which are creating a boom in Australia’s regional areas.

Regional areas are a prime opportunity for many home owners and investors in the foreseeable future, according to Australia’s leading personal finance commentator Effie Zahos and renowned property analyst Terry Ryder.

The pair co-authored Canstar’s recent Rising Stars Report, which revealed the strength of property markets in Australia’s regional suburbs consequential to a lifestyle trend and the rise of remote working.

“So one of the absolute dominant trends that are driving real estate markets across the country is the one I call the exodus to affordable lifestyle. It’s also about technology and infrastructure,” Terry told KnowHow founder Bushy Martin on Realty Talk, which was also aired on the Get Invested podcast.

Effie added: “Fundamentally, people’s ability to work remotely is a big driver of it … once we were able to work wherever we wanted to work, plus that whole affordability pressure, moving out further became a lot more acceptable for a lot of people.”

While Affordability is crucial in this movement, Effie and Terry said sometimes it’s more effective to consider the bigger picture and avoid getting caught up on the actual figures.

“When you look at the prices between regional and city, there’s a huge gap and an obvious benefit,” Effie said.

“But look, I think the prices themselves, will they hit rock bottom? Probably not, unfortunately. I think when you buy any asset class, it’s not about timing the market, it’s time in the market. So long as you buy well and you don’t have to sell when things turn, then you know, property does well over the long term.”

The duo further explained this trend is likely to stick in the long run due to the high stakes involved with transitioning from city to regional.

“Some people tend to think that once we get the pandemic under control, everyone’s going to move back to the cities. I think they underestimate the the huge decisions people have made to make. You don’t move your whole life and family and livelihood willy nilly and you don’t on a whim, move back,” Terry said.

“There are costs to moving house, the cost of selling a property and then buying a house in another location. You can easily tear up $50k to $100k with stamp duty and legal fees and agents commissions etc. So I don’t think we’re going to see a reversal of the trend.

“Also, this trend hasn’t been caused by the pandemic in the first place. It has got a longer term and more fundamental underlying factors. Covid has just thrown petrol on the fire really.”

Bushy added: “These are long term decisions that people have made. And given the infrastructure and the technology support with the lifestyle drivers, I think this is definitely a hint of sustainable things to come.”

So, which regional areas are thriving the most? Terry and Effie said New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia are popular hotspots.

“Both New South Wales and Queensland are underpinned by a strong economy with big infrastructure spend,” Terry said.

“The state making the greatest net gains from internal migration is Queensland. It’s not all going to Brisbane, the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast – it’s spreading far and wide … there’s the lifestyle effect of the beaches, the climate, the affordability factor, the price comparison, and also the infrastructure effect. There’s big infrastructure spend in the outer and regional Queensland, so all of that is in the mix and it’s driving big buying activity in places right throughout regional Queensland, right up in the far north. Places like Cairns and Townsville are benefiting smaller regional cities that many Australians would probably never consider.

“The state economy of Western Australia has also improved enormously with the rise of the resources sector again, but also very important in the rise of Western Australia regional areas is the lifestyle areas south of Perth, in particular beautiful lifestyle areas like Mandurah.”

Listen to the full interview here.

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