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Are Australians Embracing Lifestyle Relocations Again?

02.05.16 | Marc Barlow | Blog

A report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that Australian’s may once again be embracing the idea of relocation for lifestyle reasons with migration to coastal and unique areas proving a popular choice for those undertaking a change of home.

Known colloquially as a sea change or a tree change this type of relocation was popular before the financial crisis and in particular with retirees who found themselves with more flexibility and less commitments which are usually afforded once full time employment comes to an end

With a tightening of economic conditions came fewer opportunities for people to undertake such a significant change and most lifestyle destinations saw a reduction in home price growth as capital city residences grew in desirability out of necessity and popularity.

The ABS’s New Report

Data in the ABS’s report which focuses on coastal and lifestyle regions shows that migration to areas such as the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Hunter Valley, Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands is on the rise and all of these areas could be described as lifestyle destinations.

Interestingly the data also shows that the age categories of 0-14 years and 25 and 64 years are the most represented in this category of migration statistics which suggest that the demographics undertaking sea or tree changes has changed from the past which in turn is an indicator that migration to these lifestyle changes is being partly driven by families with younger children and empty nesters.

Additional Factors

Another factor which might be contributing to this migration is the increases in home values in Australia’s capital cities which has resulted in less affordability for many who now find themselves looking outside metropolitan areas for alternative housing options.

Some of these lifestyle destinations are still within commuting distance of the major cities and this factored with an increase in workplace flexibility and improvements in technology means that a little extra travel may no longer be a major factor for home owners.

Is The Sea Change / Tree Change Back For Good?

Looking forward it is likely that this type of migration will continue to some degree as there will always be people seeking a significant home relocation in their personal lives.

With interest rates likely to remain at record lows and home prices in the major capitals likely to remain strong into the near future it is quite possible that Australian’s will continue to consider a sea or tree change at some stage in the future.