Back to Inspire Home

New research shows most Aussies dream of living the country life

Dreaming of purchasing a new home?

Find out how much you could borrow with our calculator.

Calculate now

An ideal forever home is something most Australians dream of and aspire towards, but it turns out this dream can change depending on your age. Whether it’s a place to settle down in and raise kids, or the perfect pad to run a home office out of, the definition of what makes a forever home perfect, differs from person to person. So too does the location of the ideal home. Australia is a large country, and its lifestyles vary between cities, small towns and rural areas.

We recently surveyed 1,087 respondents to find out where their ideal forever home would be located. The top response was a rural location, farm or country lifestyle, with 26.20% of those asked giving this response. This result is surprising when you consider the fact that according to the 2016 Census, 67% of Aussies live in city areas.


Calculate your equity in 15 seconds

See how much cash you could access from your property.

Calculate now

Are expensive city properties to blame?

Of those who responded with a rural lifestyle being their ideal location, 30.3% were Gen Xers (those aged between 35 and 54) and 30.6% were over 55’s, while only 19.8% were millennials (18-34-year-olds). Millennials were the generation most likely to choose their ideal forever home close to the city: 26.1% said that their ideal forever home would be in the suburbs surrounding the city and 21.7% said it would be within 5km of the city centre.

These results reflect those of numerous other studies across the globe that suggest millennials prefer to live within highly-populated areas. One study by BUILDER found that millennials were happiest in the “largest metropolitan areas”, something that seems exclusive to this cohort. For other demographics, happiness levels seemed to decrease with larger populations.

These inner-city locations also tend to be the most expensive, both to buy and to rent in. The average price of a house in Sydney is around the $1.1 million mark, whereas the median price for a house in a NSW town such as Lawrence - a rural township of 390 people, 640km north of Sydney – is $387,000.

This pattern is similarly reflected in the rental world. For example, the average cost of renting a 3-bedroom house in the Melbourne suburb of Prahan is $850 per week. Compare this to Kalkallo, a rural town with a population of 105, located a mere 33 kilometres north of Melbourne’s city centre, where the average is just $370 per week.

How much is your property worth?

Get a valuation for millions of properties across Australia.

Search a property

Your dream forever home changes by generation


Our survey showed that 21.3% of those over the age of 55 were most likely to say their ideal forever place would be within a small town of less than 10,000 people. This compared to only 14.9% of millennials who said the same.

According to Startsat60, many retirees are choosing to move to regional locations as they generally offer a quieter lifestyle with less stress and lower property and living costs than capital cities.

Data from the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) echoes this thought, showing that retirees are choosing to downsize and make the sea and tree change. In one of the locations analysed, Forster-Tuncurry, around 32% of the population are over the age of 65.

CEO of ASFA, Dr Martin Fahy, states that with the median house price in Forster-Tuncurry being $650,000 less than that of Sydney, significant capital could be freed-up for retirees making the move.

17.5% of millennials said a large town (between 20,000 and 100,000 people) would be their ideal location, compared to only 9.8% of Generation Xers and 11.9% of over 55s.

Interest in city living declines with age

While the most popular response for the location of an ideal forever home was a rural location, farm or country lifestyle, a close second was in suburbs surrounding the city, with 23.9 % of respondents giving this answer. Millennials were the most likely demographic to give this answer, with 26.1%, closely followed by 24% of Generation X and 20.1% of those over 55.

It could be that the suburbs offer a good compromise: they are generally more affordable than inner-city living, have more space and often include a backyard, while also being close enough to the city for work or social events.

Another interesting statistic showed that people’s interest in living within 5kms of a city centre gradually, but consistently decreased with age. 21.7% of millennials said their ideal forever home would be located within 5kms of a CBD, compared to 20% of Gen X respondents, and just 16.1% of over 55s.

Got your eye on a property down the street?

Find out how much it's worth with our free property report.

Search a property

The location of an ideal forever home differs greatly from Aussie to Aussie. There are many factors at play, such as life stages and generational differences that have a role in impacting these results. In the end, while there are strong correlations between demographics and the areas they say are ideal, it comes down to a large range of variables including personal preference, financial position, and future aspirations.

How much could you save with a lower interest rate?

Calculate your loan repayments


Got a question?

Get free, expert home loan advice. Schedule a callback from one of our Home Loan Specialists.

Tags: home, country living

Calculate your equity in 15 seconds

See how much cash you could access from your property.

Calculate now

Check today's low rates

Tell us what you are looking for and see if you can save.

Search rates
Home loan repayment saver tool

Home loan repayment saver tool

Enter a few details about your home loan and see how much you could save on your repayments

Important legal stuff

Lendi is the trading name of Lendi Pty Ltd (ACN 611 161 856, Credit Representative 518849), a related body corporate of Auscred Services Pty Ltd (ACN 164 638 171, Australian Credit Licence 442372). We will never sell your email address to any third party or send you nasty spam, promise.
# Quoted rate applies only to PAYG loans with LVR of 80% or less with security in non-remote areas. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval.
Lendi is a privately owned and operated Aussie business. Our mission is to provide Aussies with the right experience when choosing a home loan from our panel of lenders including ClickLoans, a related body corporate of Auscred Services. Although Lendi compares over 1600 products from over 35 lenders, we don't cover the whole market or compare all features and there may be other features or options available to you. While Lendi is 40% owned by founders and employees, we have also been supported by some great minority shareholders including Bailador, Macquarie Bank Ltd and a number of Australian sophisticated investors. We have an independent and founder led board.
WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the example given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rates are based on a loan amount of $150,000 over a loan term of 25 years. Fees and charges apply. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval. Quoted rate applies only to PAYG loans with LVR of 80% or less with security in non-remote areas. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval.
EXAMPLE: This example is current as at 20th October 2016. A Click Loans Online Principal and Interest Loan of $150,000 over 25 years has monthly repayments of $767. This is calculated based on the interest rate of 3.69%, comparison rate of 3.69%, upfront fees of $0 and annual fees of $0.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Loan terms of between 1 Year and 40 Years are available subject to lender and credit criteria. Maximum comparison rate will not exceed 14.99% (see comparison rate warning above). Any calculations or estimated savings do not constitute an offer of credit or a credit quote and are only an estimate of what you may be able to achieve based on the accuracy of the information provided. It doesn't take into account any product features or any applicable fees. Our lending criteria and the basis upon which we assess what you can afford may change at any time without notice. Savings shown are based on user inputted data and a loan term of 30 years. All applications for credit are subject to lender credit approval criteria.
Made with love at Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia. © 2020. All rights reserved.