treechange seachange
Enquiries for properties in regional Australia have soared,, says BuyersBuyer’s cofounder Pete Wargent. Image – Canva.
  • Many buyers have been seeking out tree and sea changes
  • Byron Bay and Sunshine Beach best performing sea change regional areas
  • Small Victorian town Birregurra among best treechange towns

Thanks to the pandemic-induced working-from-home boom, many homeowners across Australia have sought out a regional lifestyle.

National property buying company cofounder, Pete Wargent, has said they have witnessed a clear increase in enquiries for buyers seeking out both a tree and sea change – although the latter has drawn far more interest.

“But when it comes to which has been the most popular choice of all, there’s no question that the coast and the water have been a major drawcard for Aussies over the past year,” Mr Wargent said.

“And the seachange locations have, on average, seen comparably higher rates of price growth to reflect that.

“That having been said, there are plenty of inland markets that have been firing too, there’s no question about that”.

Pete Wargent,

Riskwise Property Research has found that, as expected, suburbs such as Byron Bay and Sunshine Beach have performed strongly over the past year, especially for detached housing.

Top seachange suburbs over the past year (selected)

Suburb State No. of properties 12m price change
Byron Bay NSW 1,781 47%
Sunshine Beach QLD 929 46%
Esperance WA 810 40%
Port Hedland WA 1,231 40%
Lennox Head NSW 1,949 30%
Aireys Inlet VIC 730 28%
Noosa Heads QLD 1,670 25%
Kingscliff NSW 1,975 24%
Burleigh Heads QLD 1,875 23%
Terrigal NSW 3,482 22%
Miami QLD 1,518 22%
Warrnambool VIC 1,092 21%
Port Macquarie NSW 13,245 15%
Source: CoreLogic, RP Data

In suburbs selected by Riskwise using CoreLogic and RP data, it has been found Byron Bay has recorded a price increase of 47% over the past year, while notably, Port Hedland makes an appearance thanks to the mining boom.

The northern WA town is also currently undergoing a voluntary buyback of 400 houses due to the prevalence of red dust for residents living near the town.

Many inland areas have also recorded significant growth.

Top treechange suburbs over the past year (selected)

Suburb State No. of properties 12m price change
Birregurra VIC 301 41%
Chiltern VIC 424 38%
Daylesford VIC 1,464 51%
Mittagong NSW 2,132 26%
Orange NSW 14,480 20%
Buderim QLD 8,830 19%
Yandina NSW 847 19%
Leura NSW 2,201 18%
Mudgee NSW 4,393 17%
Maryborough QLD 6,220 11%
Source: CoreLogic, RP Data

“Mittagong and Orange in New South Wales are two examples of markets where rentals have been very tight away from Sydney, and the surge in demand has pushed properties prices higher while asking rents have exploded”.

Doron Peleg, RiskWise CEO, said that he expects the working from home trend to continue beyond 2021.

“Australians who have had more of a taste of working from home over the past year are now able to continue to work remotely and often we are seeing that it’s these buyers who are now seeking lifestyle properties and avoiding higher density locations”.

Doron Peleg, RiskWise CEO

“The past 18 month has helped strengthen ‘work from home’ opportunities meaning owner-occupiers can take advantage of ‘lifestyle’ prospects instead of being so closely tied to employment hubs” Mr Peleg said.

Mr Wargent added that even before the pandemic there was a trend of homebuyers searching for “the best of all worlds – lifestyle, accessibility to employment hubs and more affordable housing”.

“In fact, many investors consider both sea and treechange areas to be ‘investment destinations’ in which to achieve strong capital growth.”

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