Wondering where to buy property? Regional movers continue through lockdowns

Family standing in whitewash at beach after moving from the capital to the coast.
Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

It appears regional lifestyles are still drawing Australians away from capital cities, even with lockdowns across Greater Sydney and Melbourne making logistics difficult.

A joint index between the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and Commonwealth Bank recorded a 2% increase in residents of capital cities moving regionally during the September quarter, after a slight dip in the previous report. This brings net migration to the regions up 14% over the three months to September. 

The Regional Movers Index also showed those living in country and coastal towns largely remained in those areas rather than shift to the capitals – an understandable trend considering the latest lockdown restrictions. 

Larger coastal centres close to the capitals are still at the top of tree-or-sea-change movements. Queensland’s Gold Coast was the most popular migration destination, followed by the Sunshine Coast, then Greater Geelong in Victoria, and NSW’s Wollongong and Lake Macquarie.

The index uses CBA data on relocations amongst its 10 million customers to identify these trends.

Regional property price growth continues to outpace capitals

In a housing market now worth a collective $9 trillion, property prices continue to follow the same trends as human movements.

The October housing recap from property research firm CoreLogic recorded the highest growth rate in property values since 1989, with national home values rising 20.3% in the year to September.

While overall price growth is slightly down on the previous quarter, CoreLogic found regional growth outpaced the capitals by a hair’s breadth, increasing by 5.1% and 4.7% respectively over the three months to September. But this certainly is no match for the figures released at the start of the year, which saw regional property values growing at triple the rate of cities. 

For anyone considering buying property, it’s time to pop your running shoes on as home sales are moving at lightning speed. CoreLogic found properties were typically selling within 30 days during the quarter, compared to the 42-day standard sale time during the same period of 2020.

This means you’ll likely want to organise home loan options ahead of time, so you’re ready to lockdown your dream property if it appears among sale listings. Kick-off your research process by reading our guide to mortgage pre-approval, then check out some of the home loans below.

Compare home loans - last updated 2 March 2024

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* WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

** Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate. You can change the loan amount and term in the input boxes at the top of this table. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

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