Treechanger’s remorse or best of both worlds?
Will the movement away from the big smoke over the last 2 years come back to bite those that have done it? Core Logic asks the question here.
From what they say, it’s important to look at moving away from the city, that the surge in working from home opportunities provided, for what it is: a chance for a fresh start. If the regional brain drain to urban areas can be stopped or even reversed, then this can only benefit regional areas. We’ve all known for some time that the population focus on Australia’s major capital cities is inordinate at best, unsustainable at worst.
If enough tree changers can make their change work, using distance communication tools which a couple of years ago were largely unknown, knowing that there may be a few unknown moments in their plan, then this can only benefit everyone.
Having said that, it seems that perhaps the ‘gold rush’ of treechanging has peaked. In the Core Logic article, CoreLogic’s Head of Research Eliza Owen describes a historical lead-lag between what happens in the cities, and what happens in the regions, of roughly 3-6 months. Whilst noting that the last 6 months of 2021 seem to have disrupted this pattern, she says, “Despite the recent exuberance, I would expect growth rates in regional Australia to start slowing early this year.”
According to Domain (citing ABS statistics), 233,100 people moved from cities to regional areas in 2020. Figures for 2021 are yet to be released.
Of course, if you’re able to, why not have both? This article in Domain looks at some of the pros and cons of having homes in both the city and country, and routinely commuting back and forth. The article refers to this as ‘split living’, identifying the trend in a nice soundbite. Apart from the increased mortgage and maintenance cost, some of the biggest cons seem to be accidentally leaving your favourite jacket at the other place. A nice problem to have, perhaps?