City vs country: where are the best property investment prospects?

By Robin Christie | 22 May 2012

Any property investor worth their salt knows that research is the key to selecting a good property investment location. But what does the latest research into the city vs country debate reveal about the prospects of our rural property markets versus their urban counterparts? Read on to find out.

According to Roy Morgan Research’s State of the Nation Report 11, mining is the single industry that the nation is most confident about but, overall, business confidence is higher in the city than in the country.

Employment prospects also appear to be better in the city than in the country, with city businesses stating that they were more likely to increase staff numbers and investment in the near future than their rural counterparts. Unemployment rates tend to be higher in the country, noted the report, with the younger generation most likely to be unemployed in both regions.

“Consumer confidence is also higher in the city due to a higher proportion of residents expecting good times financially in the next twelve months,” said the report.

City residents were also found to have a higher level of education on average, with a greater proportion of city residents holding a university degree than their country rivals.

One interesting, and perhaps surprising, point that landlords may want to bear in mind is that city residents were more likely to live in larger households than country residents, while country dwellers were also more likely to live in households with one or two people than city folks.

Perhaps less surprising is the finding that city residents tend to have higher net wealth, higher personal and household incomes, and higher home values than country residents.

“Australian citizens – whether those living in the city or country – generally share many similarities. Many findings of the ‘city versus country’ focus made sense given the differences between city and country life,” said Norman Morris, industry communications director for Roy Morgan Research.

“However, there are many differences between the two regions, particularly in health, unemployment and wealth.”

Are you planning to invest in the city or the country? Join the debate on our property investment forum.

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