What $1 million looks like in other states as Sydney and Melbourne residents flee By Brooke Rolfe
There is a growing trend of city dwellers fleeing lockdown in search of affordability and freedom — and it’s easy to see why.
With ongoing lockdowns and soaring house prices, it’s no surprise Sydney and Melbourne residents are fleeing their stuffy inner-city abodes for some rural reprieve.
Not only do both capital cities have unattainably high house prices, they have been in and out of coronavirus lockdowns for the past 18 months, and people are fed up.
Regional locations have been welcoming city-slickers like never before, with properties not only far cheaper, but offering an abundance of fresh air and Covid freedom.
While $1 million would barely get you a one-bedroom shack in Sydney, its plenty enough for a palatial three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Perth’s beachside suburb of Scarborough.
For $700,000, the home is walking distance to one of the city’s most iconic surf beaches, has a massive courtyard and more than enough space for a big family.
Further north, a modern resort-style home in Broome with four bedrooms, a huge pool and a luxurious timber deck will sell for just under the $1 million mark.
A three-bedroom home set on three acres with a dam and space for a hoard of small farm animals in Carey Gully, South Australia, is on the market for about the same.
In the same price bracket is a four-bedroom home on just under two acres in Mylor, in the Adelaide Hills, with views of rolling hills and ample space for chickens and a veggie patch.
A complete sea change could also be made in Queensland’s Southern Downs region, where a breathtaking five-acre property in Stanthorpe with five bedrooms and four bathrooms is on the market for $825,000. The property, set at the end of a cul-de-sac, even has a creek running through the middle.
For about $1 million, a huge near-new four-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a generous backyard and entertaining area can be purchased in Noosaville, just minutes from the beach.
Buyers with an entrepreneurial streak could even scoop up a motel in Tasmania’s picturesque Swansea area, with 10 bedrooms and stunning waterfront views on the market for $1.1 million.
An unexpected treasure in Stanley, on Tasmania’s northwest coast, is selling for the same, and features four bedrooms, a sauna and spa, and backs onto a sprawling state reserve.
Many regional areas across the country had experienced significant growth since the coronavirus pandemic, but none more so than Byron Bay hinterland town of Bangalow, according to realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee.
“Coastal areas from the Mid North Coast up to the Queensland border have been experiencing strong growth post the pandemic, likely driven by people located in capital cities, particularly Sydney,” she said.
Orange and Dubbo were the favourite regional locations for first-home buyers, while other parts of the Central West and coastal areas from the Mid North Coast up to the Queensland border were also particularly popular.
ABS data confirms relocation trend
A mass city exodus was confirmed by migration data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which revealed there was a net loss of 11,200 people from capital cities during July, August and September last year.
Perth and Brisbane had the biggest intake of migrations, while Hobart, Darwin and Adelaide had no major change.
The most significant volume of moving was done in the September quarter, which just so happened to coincide with the months after Australia’s initial hard lockdown, as well as Melbourne’s second extended lockdown.
While Sydney had its biggest loss of people in the September quarter, it wasn’t abnormal to pre-coronavirus times, the data revealed.
In the same time period, most of those who fled Victoria chose to relocate to Queensland, with Darwin experiencing its first net gain from internal migration in five years.
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