The Sydney and Melbourne exodus isn't a flash in the pan

The Sydney and Melbourne exodus isn't a flash in the pan
Terry RyderJanuary 25, 2021


The question we are asked the most is whether the trend to the regions will last. Many appear to think it might be a “flash in the pan” phenomenon.

The answer is: yes, this trend has legs. It has already been going on for too long to be considered a short-term wonder. Sydney has been losing population to internal migration (people moving to other parts of Australia) for 10 years.

Melbourne has been a net loser of population through internal migration for the past three years. Media has misled people by characterizing the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle as a reaction to the pandemic lockdown periods. It is not. This trend has been under way, strongly, for years - and it’s about technology and the ability to work remotely. It’s not about COVID-19, although the pandemic year has certainly enhanced the trend.

Many people want a different lifestyle, one that’s more affordable and relaxed, away from the big expensive congested cities. Many of them lived in the inner-city areas of our big capitals only because they felt they needed to for their careers. Technology and the growing acceptance of work-from-home scenarios has released those shackles.

I made that choice a quarter of a century ago. I realised I didn’t need to be in the big city to operate my business so I moved to a hill change town. And will likely never leave.

I place great value on living in a place where there are no traffic lights, where you can get a park in the main street, where shop keepers greet you by name, where there’s a real sense of community and where crime is seldom an issue. The physical environment is spectacular and we’re an hour from the Brisbane CBD is ever we need it – which rarely happens. When I moved here from inner Brisbane, I bought a home of higher standard than the one I was leaving and it cost less. That, in simple terms, is why more and more people are making the move.

It’s not about the pandemic, it’s about lifestyle, affordability and technology. And it’s not going away any time soon. So, across Australia, property markets are booming in sea change and hill change towns, as well as the smaller capital cities.

It’s a key reason why we’re heading into a nationwide real estate boom this year and beyond. It’s not the only reason, but it’s one of the prime catalysts. And, no, the end to Federal Government stimulus measures won’t stop it.

Terry Ryder is the founder of

Terry Ryder

Terry Ryder is the founder of

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