Regional grants convincing Sydneysiders to consider a tree change

The NSW government’s regional relocation grant is encouraging more Sydneysiders to consider relocating to the Southern Highlands and other regional areas.

Almost 10% of the 15,000 people who attended the Country & Regional Living Expo at Rosehill Racecourse last weekend registered an interest in a Southern Highlands property, according to Raine & Horne Bowral principal Matthew Anstee.

Anstee says the regional relocation grant is a driving factor.

The grant, which will operate for four years, until June 30, 2015, provides applicants with a one-off payment of $7,000 to help with the expense of relocating from a metropolitan property to a regional home not exceeding $600,000.

Metropolitan areas include local government areas of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury, Gosford, Wyong, Wollondilly, Wollongong and Newcastle.

Anstee says he is surprised by the reaction and interest from Sydneysiders in the regional relocation grant.

Anstee says his team left the expo with “30 very hot leads”.

In addition, the agency secured a deposit from a retired couple from Sydney’s Northern Beaches for a new three-bedroom apartment in the Bowral Apartment complex, at 184 -186 Victoria Street Bowral, valued at $580,000.

Anstee says white- and blue-collar job opportunities in the Southern Highlands are also attracting city-based buyers.

“We have a population of 52,000, which is growing, as well as strong mining and retail sectors that underpin this growth,” he says.

“Yet we have a shortage of lawyers, accountants and administration staff, which is a great opportunity for city-based professionals considering a lifestyle shift to this region, which is just 90 minutes from Sydney.”

Stephen Millard from Raine & Horne Wagga Wagga in the Riverina says one of the great fears for those moving to regional centres is job opportunities.

"However, in Wagga Wagga we have a shortage of skilled labourers and professionals. This includes a deficit of legal and accounting professionals, as well as tradespeople.”

A three-bedroom house on an 800 square metre block in Wagga Wagga sells for about $290,000.

Raine & Horne Tamworth principal Bryan Bolitho says $310,000 secures a modest three-bedroom house in the New England region.

“We recently sold a smart three bedroom home at Lot 11, Boulevard Place, Tamworth for $345,000, which came with an en suite, ducted air conditioning and a double garage," Bolitho says.

Bolitho says jobs are available at the mines at Gunnedah and in the agricultural sectors in Tamworth.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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