A year on, and COVID-19 is very much still affecting our way of life. One example of this, is the way COVID has caused many to rethink their living arrangements, especially when work and home life has become so closely intertwined. While mobile professionals existed prior to COVID, working from home has vastly increased with many workplaces conforming to the Government’s COVID directive of “If you can work from home, you must work from home.” As a large percentage of the work force were no longer required to commute into the CBD five days a week, many took the opportunity to move away from high density urban cities to regional areas with better lifestyle prospects.
Many have seen the potential in residing in regional areas for a better work life balance and are taking advantage of the buying opportunities especially on the east coast of Australia. This is shown with an increase in prospective home buyers, up 43.9% from the first lockdown in 2020, according to Domain Group Data, and continuing to remain high in 2021. Geelong, in Victoria, and Newcastle, in New South Wales, experienced large population growth towards the end of last year as many suburbanites relocated once travel restrictions eased. For Melbournians, Geelong offers a regional lifestyle while conveniently being only an hour away from Melbourne’s CBD.
The rise in city dwellers fleeing to regional areas has naturally increased the pricing of property with the surge in demand. Regional property prices rose by 7% whereas capital cities increased by only 2%. This is the first time since 2004 that regional prices increased more than capital city markets.
Geelong has recorded a 33.6% increase in property prices since 2015 yet compared to Melbourne still offers a very affordable option with the median house price of $555,000.
Most interestingly, investors are using this trend to their advantage by purchasing properties in regional areas, whilst property prices are still reasonably low, with the intention that there will be an increase in value as more potential buyers enter the marketplace in 2021.
The government has rolled out incentives to urge buyers back into the property market. These incentives include the Frist Home Loan Deposit Scheme which is available nationally and in Victoria, the government is expanding their First Home Buyers grant to $20,000 for properties located in regional Victoria.
The combination of government grants and home loan rates being an all-time low, makes it the opportune time to purchase either your first home or broaden your property portfolio.
If you're interested in taking advantage of the government incentives, low interest rates or would like more information on the above, contact a lending advisor from Partners Wealth Group today on 1800 333 143 to see how we can assist with getting your approval in place so you can take advantage of this new interest rate war.