Many things will change post-COVID-19, including the way Investors see the best investment locations.  

A migration trend is now firmly underway in Australia as the COVID-19 pandemic enables people to work from home and seek cheaper properties away from bustling central business districts.

Businesses around the world have been forced to rethink conventional practices, and Australia is no exception. With large portions of our workforce being required to work remotely, large volumes of businesses and workers are now determined to ensure the benefits of a remote workforce are here to stay.  

For many businesses, the COVID-19 lockdown provided a forced testing ground, requiring employees to work remotely at a large scale. This experience has fast-tracked a trend that had already started gaining momentum, allowing businesses to reduce their office space and running costs, plus facilitate an employees ability to prove they can maintain a high level of productivity. 

A new report from GitLab, states that it’s undeniable that many parts of work in the future will be done remotely. GitLab’s Remote Work report surveyed 3000 professionals across Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States to understand what employees think about remote working. According to the report, 83% of respondents say they are able to accomplish all of their work tasks remotely, and 82% say remote working is the way of the future.

The Australian Financial Review reported this month at around half of all employees were dreading the idea of returning to the office. In the article Culture Amp Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Didier Elzinga said many workers don’t feel safe about returning to the office and felt they could be just as productive at home.

Culture Amp recently surveyed 32,000 workers about their readiness to return to the workplace, with just 37 per cent saying they would feel safe travelling to the workplace when restrictions lift. More than four in five workers (84 per cent) of the people surveyed believing they do their work as effectively remotely as in the workplace.

Other authorities have stepped forward to highlight a range of commercial concerns around insisting workers return to office environments. Amongst these concerns are a growing list of workplace safety requirements and the potential of expensive office redesigns. They are leaving many companies with little choice but to allow at least a portion of their workforce to continue to work remotely. 

One thing is certain; COVID-19 has given us a clear insight into a world where remote working is very common, and where all-remote companies soon become a smart business practice. 

Urban Exodus will see our Regional Cities Shine. 

There’s little doubt that the impacts of COVID-19 will reshape the way millions of Australians live their lives.

A big city exodus has already begun with more Australians now having an opportunity to escape the pressures of urban commutes and high living costs by moving out of the cities and taking their jobs with them. More families will now be able to choose where they live rather than be required to live near their employer’s office location. As a result of this, there has been a tangible shift in the nature of conversations with buyers looking to escape high-density living in favour of the lifestyle benefits and housing affordability regional areas have to offer. 

It’s not just the employees who see the benefit in this regional focus. Ten major Australian businesses have committed to making this flexibility a long-term reality for workers. They have signed up to the Regional Australia Council 2031, which is encouraging people to shift their traditional city job to live and work in regional areas. 

A growing number of Property analysts are now united in the belief it will be Australia’s regional communities that emerge as the biggest winners from this crisis. Regional cities with great existing infrastructure will perform strongly over the coming years. Areas with well established commercial airports offering multiple daily flights to the states capital cities, ensuring remote workers can easily commute as required, whilst enjoying the significant advantages of affordable housing and dramatically reduced lifestyle costs.

Many of these regions are already undersupplied with housing creating an opportunity for investors to benefit from rapidly rising buyer volumes that will further reduce the volume of rental properties available. Given that some of these large regional cities already offer rental returns that are double the yields offered in Sydney and Melbourne, a tighter rental market could see investors experience even greater returns.

Affordable homes at a time when interest rates are so low, and promise to remain for some time, will see a wave of Investor and Home Buyer interest that is bound to create a new wave of and the safety of property hotspots over the coming years.