Escape the city: Lifestyle-seekers drive price gains across regional markets

By Gerv Tacadena | 16 Sep 2021

A report from DiJones said there is an unprecedented demand for property, particularly from buyers who are adapting to the changes brought about by the ongoing pandemic.

DiJones CEO Dean Mackie said the property market has responded unexpectedly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, triggering a change in the preferences of homebuyers.

"A desire for a lifestyle change became possible due to flexible work arrangements," he said.

Mr Mackie said the trend was apparent in some NSW regions, including the Lower North Shore in Mosman and Burradoo and Bowral in the Southern Highlands where demand for family homes increased.

"People favouring lifestyle over proximity to the city saw the Central Coast market buzzing with buyers,” Mr Mackie said.

“The beachside suburbs of Terrigal, Wamberal and Avoca Beach saw strong growth and acreage, five minutes from the beach, was in demand.”

Other suburbs like Bronte, Tamarama, and Clovelly are also currently popular among families looking for home.

Woollahra, Paddington, Darlinghurst, and Surry Hills also witnessed increased demand since the beginning of the year.

Price gains unfazed by the pandemic

According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia's latest report, house prices have inflated by 18.4% annually during the first six months of the year.

The report showed that major regional centres and coastal areas continued to entice buyers escaping the city, interstate movers, and repatriating Australians.

Queensland regions were among the best performers during the period, with the Sunshine Coast striking a gain of 27% and Gold Coast at 21.4%.

JPM Valuers director Jason Matigian said the sea- and tree-change trends have resulted in around 25% annual growth in regional markets.

"A coastal lifestyle has become extremely important. There’s been a significant uplift in some coastal towns. We've seen those lifestyle properties really kick up in value," Mr Matigian said.

What buyers want in a home

Mr Mackie said the recent lockdowns have enabled homebuyers to sort out their priorities when looking for the "right home"

"Properties with studios, offices, large gardens and swimming pools, that support the balance of working from home and lifestyle, are at the top of the wish list as buyers refine their search criteria," he said.

"The mid-tier prestige market in particular has the opportunity to flourish due to strong interest from those seeking to upgrade and homes with opportunities to renovate were sought after last financial year and could be again."

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