An aerial view of the landscape and beaches of Yamba, which is fast becoming a popular destination for people looking to escape the rat race of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
An aerial view of the landscape and beaches of Yamba, which is fast becoming a popular destination for people looking to escape the rat race of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

REVEALED: Why city slickers want a piece of our paradise

Get ready, because the city slickers say they're ready for a move to the country.

And the reason? It's not them, it's us.

New research released today by the Regional Australia Institute shows one-in-five city residents are looking to move to the regions, with more than half wanting to make the jump within the next 12 months.

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie said metro movers are looking for more space, to be better connected to the natural environment and they want a more relaxed lifestyle - all the things that regional Australia has to offer.

 

"What's really interesting about the survey we had commissioned is that the appeal of regional Australia is a stronger motivation to move than any dissatisfaction with city life," Ms Ritchie said.

"Brisbane respondents came in as the most stressed in the country, followed by Sydney-siders and then those in Melbourne. More than 69 per cent of all those surveyed said reducing general stress and anxiety is a major driver for considering a life outside our capital cities."

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When asked about the reasons for considering a move, 70 per cent rated traffic congestion as a major factor and 68 per cent want to reduce their cost of living.

But it's the positives of life outside the city limits which resonate even more, with 77 per cent of potential movers ticking both space and connection to nature as reasons to shift. The improved general wellbeing that regional life offers is a major drawcard for three-quarters of those surveyed.

While the COVID pandemic has significantly raised the desire to move to regional Australia for 22 per cent of survey respondents, more than half said they were already considering relocation before the pandemic.

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However, the pandemic seems to have sped up the decision, with house prices skyrocketing over the past 12 months, with even non-coastal areas such as Grafton leaping nearly $100,000 in median house price.

Larger coastal centres were the most popular locations for potential metro movers, but when it came to smaller areas, inland towns held their own against those on the coast, with about one third of respondents indicating an interest in both.

The First National Real Estate auction at 1 Mary St, Grafton on Saturday February 15, 2020.
The First National Real Estate auction at 1 Mary St, Grafton on Saturday February 15, 2020.

 

"Concern about limited job opportunities was identified by respondents as the biggest barrier to moving to regional Australia, even though the latest job vacancy figures show there are more than 54,000 roles available in regional Australia, with professional and skilled jobs featuring strongly across the regions," Ms Ritchie said.

"Our research underpins a multi-million-dollar, multi-platform national awareness campaign that the RAI will launch next month at its National Summit in Canberra. It will inform potential movers about the great opportunities to live, work and invest in regional Australia."

The RAI commissioned qualitative and quantitative research among more than 1000 people in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth who were considering moving to Regional Australia. The research was carried out in November and December 2020.



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