MACKAY has been named one of three property affordability hotspots in Queensland as buyers abandon big city life for a lower mortgage and better lifestyle in the regions.
Property expert Terry Ryder, from hotspotting.com.au, believes the exodus identified in a Property Investment Professionals of Australia survey has been bolstered by technology advancements and the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and will not slow down anytime soon.
“The exodus to an affordable lifestyle has been quietly gathering pace for several years now and while the pandemic might not have started it, it certainly has helped drive one of the biggest trends in Australian real estate to new levels,” he said.
“While pre-COVID living in a regional town and working for a city-based company may have seemed impossible, the lockdown phase has shown both employees and employers they can effectively work from home and no longer need to battle peak hour traffic to be productive.
“Zoom or Skype meetings, a quiet room and a reasonable internet connection are all many need to get their job done.
“As many have discovered during the pandemic, it doesn’t really matter if that quiet room is the suburbs or a couple of hundred kilometres away in an affordable regional city.”
The PIPA survey found the top locations for buyers to migrate to were regional NSW (21%), regional Queensland (18%), Brisbane (16%) and regional Victoria (14%).
Mr Ryder said regional towns not only offered a more relaxed lifestyle than many inner-city suburbs, but would also offer owner-occupiers and investors much more bang for their property buck.
He said buyers priced out of Brisbane were finding affordable property on the Sunshine Coast, in Mackay and in Townsville.
“Property owners can sell up in a capital city and buy something of the same standard in a regional or lifestyle area for half the price – and either significantly reduce their mortgage or find themselves mortgage-free with money left over,” he said.
“That’s a very appealing proposition particularly for young people starting out who are looking for a realistic way to enter the property market.
“The more government pours money into improving transport connections to regional towns, the more this trend will take hold and the big infrastructure spend evident in the federal budget provides evidence that there is plenty more of this to come.”
Rae Wilson, Daily Mercury, 9 December 2020