Sea change tide coming back in after GFC wipeout

Sea change tide coming back in after GFC wipeout
Sea change tide coming back in after GFC wipeout

It is tempting to think that life becomes idealic once you've made the sea or tree change, but the reality is often far from that.

And possibly a decision you and the family will regret.

It was recently suggested the once popular sea and tree change relocation phenomenon - which was lead by retirees over a decade ago - is showing signs of a return.

The sea and tree change represents a major life change which has often been based on a long held dream about retirement.

But the data suggests it is now being led by young families rather than retirees.

The population data shows that the shift is being fuelled by those aged 0-14 years and those between 25 and 64 years.

"This would seemingly indicate that migration within these coastal and lifestyle markets is being driven by young families," Cameron Kusher said.

For these young families it could be seeking life out of the fast lane or maybe tired of all the time spent in the traffic. 

“Sea and tree change have been the long forgotten buzzwords for the migration of people to coastal and lifestyle markets," CoreLogic RP Data analyst Cameron Kusher recently said.

"This trend was particularly strong before the financial crisis hit in 2008," he said, noting many lifestyle markets had since underperformed when compared to the capital cities.

The regions now attracting migration attention in New South Wales included the Shoalhaven, the mid North Cost, Central Coast, the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra.

"Recently we’ve started to see values rise in many of these regions.

"This supports the increased demand for housing (with migration as a source) which in turn, often leads to increases in home values.

“Another factor contributing to this migration is likely to be the recent home values increases in capital cities which has resulted in a deterioration of affordability and forced many younger families to look for alternatives to living in the capital cities," he said.

The need for employment is the key aspect to consider as even affordable housing needs income to pay off the mortgage.

According to the ABS, the rate of unemployment in most regional and coastal locations is significantly higher than in Sydney. It is crucial to put together a financial plan, remembering that wages may be lower and some costs will be higher.

The need for proximity to educational facilities is crucial too, from kindergarten to university.

For retirees access to health care is crucial, along with the issue of finding new friends and keeping intouch with old friends and the family.

Kusher analysed the top 25 national statistical area regions for internal migration over the 2008-09 and the 2014-15 financial years from the latest ABS Migration Statistics.

Outside of NSW, the busy lifestyle regions included the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Geelong, Mornington Peninsula, Bunbury and Mandurah.

Don’t think it silly to rent and try before you buy, suggests buyers agent Veronica Morgan from the television series Relocation Relocation.

"It seems like a massive upheaval to do this but it’s nothing compared to the stress associated with having to sell a short time after buying if it doesn’t work out.

"No amount of research and planning will prepare you better than actually living the dream," she suggests.

Morgan also warns not to overpay through having a city mentality.

The good news for potential changers is growth in city house prices has significantly outperformed regional prices, so there will be a tidy kitty.

But be warned buying back in Sydney might be an issue once you've departed the big smoke for a few years.

This article was first published in the Saturday Daily Telegraph. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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Residential Market Sea Change

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