Sitchu Living

PROPERTY ADVICE 9 D espite the challenges of a pandemic, the regional Australian property market is enjoying a surge in demand from city dwellers looking to exit their urban setting. Lower property prices, abundant space, low-density living, a chance to get back to nature and enjoy a slower pace of life – rural living has a lot of desirable features. And it’s only been amplified by new working- from-home arrangements, which is allowing buyers to think in terms of lifestyle over central location. However, Australia’s regional areas are as varied as they are large, and not all locations promise similar growth prospects. Prospective buyers should assess the specific region’s economic profile and how this could influence demand for property in the long term. . Whether you’re a savvy investor looking to capitalise on the regional property trend, a city dweller taking advantage of new working-from-home arrangements, or you’re simply in the market for a weekender or stunning rural home, here are some factors you need to consider. . Location and lifestyle From epic bushwalking to amazing surf, flourishing vineyards to stunning galleries, Australia’s regional towns have an abundance of activities. With their lower pricepoint, rural properties can give you the ability to buy somewhere that enables the lifestyle you want. “Location is one of the biggest drivers of demand, liveability and desirability in regional markets. If it is somewhere you want to live or visit, chances are, so will others like you,” says Peter Hanscomb, CEO of Belle Property and Hockingstuart. IIf you’re planning to relocate permanently, look beyond the natural attractions to what the area has to offer year-round and how that will affect your lifestyle. Sitchu’s suburb search tool provides a quick snapshot of local dining and cultural attractions, as well as education, public spaces and transport options that can be used to guide your thinking. “If you’re looking to turn your purchase into a holiday home, evaluate the seasonality. The most desirable seasons to stay somewhere are also the most lucrative to rent out, so try to visit the area in the off-season to make sure it’s still somewhere you’d be happy to stay,” adds Peter. Commutability While current working-from-home restrictions have allowed city dwellers to explore areas outside of their standard commuting range, it hasn’t eliminated the city altogether. Whether for work or leisure, proximity to a capital city will always be in demand among buyers. Look for locations that offer a lower pricepoint than their city counterparts yet are well positioned on major train or highway routes to provide accessibility back to the CBD for those doing occasional commutes. Long-term economic prospects Regional economies can be more volatile than their metropolitan counterparts, so take the time to understand the local economy and market prospects, and how these factors may impact future property prices. Here, Peter suggests some ways to understand long-termmarket viability: • Internal migration: Examine whether more Australians moved into an area than departed it, and where they previously lived. By looking from 2020 backwards, you can see what demand there was for the area among local and out-of-towners . • Employment prospects: Look at current employment statistics and the industries currently supporting the local economy – tourism, agriculture, or infrastructure for instance. This suggests how you, or future buyers, could fit in in a year or 10 years if working from home is no longer an option. . • Future developments: New housing projects could create a supply and demand imbalance, which could negatively impact the long-term value of your home. But major transport or infrastructure projects that bring the regional areas ‘closer’ to metropolitan centres are strong drivers for local employment and the economy. “Working with a knowledgeable agent who is familiar with the local market can give you an inside edge when it comes to understanding what the growth prospects of a town are. For city dwellers looking to make a regional purchase, my advice would be to have a region in mind that you would like to purchase in, as well as an idea of what you want from your property. Then work with an agent to evaluate specific suburbs or properties that fit these goals,” says Peter . Questions to ask when evaluating regional growth potential? 1 INTERNAL MIGRATION TRENDS: HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE MOVED INTO AN AREA AND WHERE DID THEY PREVIOUSLY LIVE? 2 EMPLOYMENT: WHAT INDUSTRIES SUPPORT THE ECONOMY AND WHAT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE? 3 FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS: ARE THERE ANY MAJOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS ON THE HORIZON THAT COULD IMPACT THE AREA FOR BETTER OR WORSE? 4 COMMUTABILITY: HOW EASILY CAN I GET TO THE NEAREST CITY, AND WHAT TRANSPORT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE? For more information, please visit s i . au/ l i v ing /proper t y “Location is one of the biggest drivers of demand, liveability and desirability in regional markets. If it is somewhere youwant to live or visit, chances are, sowill others like you.” – Peter Hanscomb CEO of Belle Property and Hockingstuart. ‘‘