Top affordable lifestyle locations revealed

Queensland has won the lion’s share of exodus to an affordable regional lifestyle, with the Sunshine State taking four of the top 10 spots in Hotspotting’s latest property rankings.

The Hotspotting Exodus to Lifestyle – National Top 10 report has revealed the top affordable lifestyle locations with the best upside potential, based on the following property metrics:

  • rising sales activity with potential for capital growth,
  • plenty of houses at affordable prices,
  • strong infrastructure, both existing and planned, and
  • proximity to major job nodes.

Here are the national top 10 affordable lifestyle locations:

  1. City of Gerldton, WA
  2. City of Toowoomba, Qld
  3. Rural City of Murray Bridge, SA
  4. Gladstone, Queensland
  5. City of Mandurah, WA
  6. Hunter Valley, NSW
  7. Mitchell Shire, Victoria
  8. City of Mt Gambier, SA
  9. Cairns, Queensland
  10. Lockyer Valley, Queensland

Terry Ryder (pictured above), Hotspotting director, said many of the homebuyers searching for affordable lifestyle locations head to Queensland to take advantage of the state’s solid property metrics.

“According to the latest stats from the ABS, the Sunshine State’s net population increased by 2.2% – or 116,000 new residents – in the year to December 2022, with about 35,500 being interstate migrants,” Ryder said.

“Interestingly, Sydney net interstate migration was a fall of about 31,500, with many of these people heading to the more affordable lifestyle markets throughout Queensland.”

Tim Graham, Hotspotting general manager, said the “exodus to affordable lifestyle” has shaken up the real estate game for the past five to 10 years.  

The trend has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years, however, because many assumed its momentum was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryder said.

“However, its growth has been primarily due to individuals and families seeking a better lifestyle and affordability that is made possible through remote working that advances in technology have allowed for,” he said.

“As of recently, the most desirable areas for relocation have been Queensland and Western Australia, with Queensland at the very top of the list.”

Graham noted that over the past five years, the regions have outperformed the capital cities in price growth and were proving to be more resilient as many markets were experiencing a downturn in prices.

Ryder said people were also making a “hill change,” as they explored hinterland and country regions such as those in Queensland and Victoria, instead of moving towards the coast.

“Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, and Victoria have all experienced population growth due to migration from within Australia as well as from abroad,” he said. “This makes them all viable options for potential investors, offering a win-win situation of lower prices, higher rental yields, and greater potential for price growth.”

Graham said the economy, transport links, infrastructure, affordable housing, and the lifestyle offered were the top factors to consider when choosing the right location.

“Western and South Australia are among the most desirable locations, but wherever you may decide, the important thing to remember is that the exodus to affordable lifestyle is here to stay,” he said.

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