New jobs are being created in Australia’s regional centres, giving rise to relocation opportunities for those in bigger cities yearning to own their own home but who are being priced out of the market.
While the concept of relocating from the suburbs to regional cities is frowned upon by many city-slicking professionals, the opportunity to take the plunge and seek financial security elsewhere is attainable.
We explore five excellent options in some of Australia’s largest regional cities. These booming locations are seeing employment growth, housing affordability and infrastructure development, worth consideration for those looking for a better life outside the city.
Two hours North of Sydney is potential sea-change region Newcastle and nearby Hunter Valley.
The closure of BHP’s steelworks gave rise to an opportunity for the region to become more diversified and move towards the services industry.
Aside from the drawcard of prestige beaches and tourism, the Hunter Valley also presents real estate options, with the median house price at $411,000.
Population: 278,929 (Greater Geelong)
Similar to how Newcastle reinvented itself when BHP left the region, Geelong is developing its manufacturing operations to fill the gap left when the Ford factory shut its doors.
The region's median house price is just $475,000 - about $400,000 less than the city's median, according to the Domain Group’s latest market report, making the 70-minute train commute to the state's second largest city worth considering.
The development of Avalon airport and an expansion of the waterfront, along with a $300 million investment in CSIRO’s Animal Health Laboratory, are an investment in the region's future.
Deakin University’s Geelong Waterfront and Waurn Ponds campuses also offer opportunities for education and development, with the unemployment rate at 6 per cent - slightly above the national average of 5.5.
Also providing housing affordability is Orange, 200km or about a 3.5 hour drive west of Sydney, where the median is $364,000 according to realestate.com.
Observing steady population growth of 3.8 per cent over the past five years, the mining, tourism, wine and agriculture region is another attractive region to consider.
Gold Coast/Northern NSW border
The Gold Coast and neighboring Northern NSW border towns of Coolangatta and Tweed Heads offer more than just a lure for tourism and property development.
With Bond University at Robina, and Griffith University, in Brisbane’s southern suburbs, the region is moving towards opportunities in research and commercial industries, in addition to agriculture and construction opportunities.
The median house price in the southern suburbs sits around the mid-to-high $600,000s.
The upgraded Pacific Highway provides better access, and the surrounding hinterland towns are a massive drawcard for “tree changers” looking to avoid holiday-makers.
Heading inland, 130km west of Brisbane, Toowoomba is becoming a more attractive location with the Wellcamp Airport providing daily flights to major capital cities.
With the median property price at $350,000 and the unemployment rate at just 5.4 per cent, below the Queensland average of 6 per cent, living here is an attractive option.