An almost perfect storm is brewing that could see a number of our lifestyle cities shine brightest in the post COVID-19 chapter of the Australian property market.

A mass exodus is expected from our biggest cities, sending an unprecedented ripple of growth into a number of rapidly emerging secondary cities.  Whilst this population movement will most likely only have a slight impact on the Sydney and Melbourne property markets, it is expected to have a huge impact on these new growth hubs.

 

Unprecedented population and wealth shift

Over recent years astute investors have monitored a growing range of infrastructure project announcements, as regional councils worked in conjunction with federal and state governments to strategically prepare for one of the biggest population shifts in our nation’s history.

Awareness around Australia’s 5 million baby boomers preparing to transition into retirement, presented a ‘ticking time bomb’ that has required careful preparation.  With research uncovering that half, or more, of these baby boomers, may have little option financially than to downsize their family home and move to a much more affordable area.

This has seen a massive investment into key infrastructure projects such as medical and transport upgrades, creating thousands of short and long term jobs.

 

Twice the life at half the price!

Prior to COVID-19, thousands of cash-strapped and disillusioned Sydney-siders were packing up each month and leaving the city in search of a better way of life.  The Australian Bureau Of Statistics reported that as many as 12,000 people per quarter were moving from NSW to QLD alone.

Affordability and the dream of a more relaxed lifestyle have always made these locations appealing, but the uncertainty around employment was an obvious barrier in the past. Billions invested into new major infrastructure projects triggered a flood of young families racing to relocate and take advantage of these growing employment opportunities.

Rather than struggling to afford rent, or contemplate a million-dollar mortgage, these young families could now potentially enter the property market at half the price, plus afford a much more relaxed and fulfilling lifestyle.

 

COVID-19 continues to fuel the appeal

Social distancing measures implemented to gain control of COVID-19 have fuelled a new level of appeal around the idea of a big city exodus. A growing attraction to wide-open spaces, and new habits around remote working, are expected to see tens of thousands of families relocated.

Businesses are also expected to take advantage of many of the cost-saving business practices implemented during the COVID-19 lockdown period, empowering hundreds of thousands of contractors to continue to work remotely.  This will fuel the ability of families to live in often highly affordable regional cities offering multiple flights per day or easy freeway connections if periodic in office meetings are required.

Over the coming months, billions of dollars are expected to be committed by the federal and state governments to fund dozens of regional infrastructure projects in an effort to offset rising unemployment post-COVID-19.  Every announcement will only add more excitement to these already compelling investment locations.