March 4th, 2022Regional sales supercharged by Covid
REIV president Adam Docking says Covid-19 has just “supercharged” the move for many to the regions.
“Over the past few years (pre-Covid) we were seeing more of a focus on people moving to the regions because of the internet, infrastructure and technology, and realising they don’t have to work in a concrete jungle.
“So we were already seeing that in regional and satellite areas and that was just supercharged by Covid. It has really fast-tracked people thinking ‘I really don’t want or need to live in the city, I don’t need to be close to the CBD to work in the CBD.
“There was a huge spike in the numbers but moving forward everything will settle down as supply and demand equal out but people’s love affair with the regions will continue.”
Adam said initially governments had been unable to keep up with the infrastructure needed by the regional population growth but it will catch up. “With population growth comes jobs, jobs bring money, money brings tax and tax brings infrastructure. It’s a great equation.”
Adam said prices would remain high but not as “crazy as it was”. They certainly would not drop in the short term. “When we talk about prices going down, we are talking medium to long term, a spike, or a flat spot. Generally, in real estate everywhere, you see a very rapid growth for five years, then it’s stable for five years and then rapid again. We had that rapid price rise as the flood gates were opening as soon as lockdown finished and there was all that pent-up demand but no supply. Now people are realising this is going to continue and we will see stable price rises over the coming years.”
Adam said he didn’t think Covid lockdowns around the world would see an influx of people moving to Australia but he said the love affair for Australia would continue.
“Everyone around the world has a love affair with Australia. I was talking to an older friend, perhaps 65, who is a Greek Cypriot who moved here. I asked him when he looked at immigrating what his options were. He said Canada, America and Australia. Now, as an Aussie I wouldn’t mind living in Canada or America but he said Canada’s winters are too cold, America is too unstable and Australia had everything to offer. We have a stable government, a stable economy and an abundance of vacant land.”
Finally, would people moving to the regions one day, with no Uber Eats or, in many places, fast food, return to the cities in a few years?
“No, I don’t think so for a couple of reasons. One is I don’t think people would make a lifestyle change like that lightly. They would have planned it and may even have a history or involvement with a particular regional area. Secondly, one of the things about moving to a region is obviously the median price of the region is lower than the metro areas, so it is very difficult to sell and move back because of the price difference.
“But people might move from say Glenlyon to Shepparton or Warrnambool, which are bigger satellite cities. But I don’t think you are really going to see that happening. Moving to the regions is not a kneejerk reaction. I think people are planning for it because they want to change their lifestyle.”
Words: Donna Kelly | Image: Contributed