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The top 8 regional areas Aussies are moving to in 2021

By ,| 4 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way Australians think about work and their lifestyles. While the big cities remain popular, many are vacating these areas to enjoy the benefits of a slow-paced, quieter life in a regional area.

The normalisation of remote working conditions means that professionals aren’t limited to city-living. So long as you have a good internet connection, you could work just about anywhere!

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1. Bunbury, WA


  • Median house price: $525,000
  • Population: 74,300

Bunbury is a coastal city just under 2 hours south of Perth. It is known for its natural beauty, with plenty of beaches and waterways, as well as having a strong mining community in the city.

Bunbury has a median house price of $540,000, compared to Perth’s $772,500. For those wanting ease of access to a nearby big city, while enjoying small city prices, Bunbury could be a great regional option.

2. Toowoomba, QLD


  • Median house price: $365,000
  • Population: 134,000

Family-friendly, affordable living just a stone’s throw from Brisbane is what you can get in Toowoomba, Queensland. It’s a great option if you want small-town living with easy access to a major city (Brisbane), as well as the nearby Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Toowoomba has evolved away from a traditional Queensland regional city to an increasingly enticing destination, with trendy coffee shops and contemporary art galleries filling the main streets.

3. Adelaide Hills, SA


  • Median house price: $620,000
  • Population: 39,000

Looking for your fairytale ending? Consider making your home in the Adelaide Hills region, located just east of its namesake city. Home to a number of former German settlements, this is one picturesque region. In Hahndorf, you can take in the charming old European-style pubs, tree-lined streets and markets selling handmade goods.

It won’t be hard to find an abundance of restaurants and bars serving some of South Australia’s best food and wine, all while nestled amongst a rugged, green backdrop.

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4. Central Coast, NSW


  • Median house price: $675,000
  • Population: 333,600

This popular holiday region is fast becoming a permanent home for many New South Wales residents. It goes to show how appealing a more affordable beach-side lifestyle is for many Australians. The ability to work from home has made living outside the city much more feasible. But, if you prefer the in-office lifestyle, it’s not uncommon for Central Coast residents to commute into Sydney, Newcastle or Gosford.

Patonga, on the southern end of the Central Coast, has seen rapid growth in the past year, with property values rising by almost 25%. It’s likely that many towns in the area will experience similar growth supported by Sydney-siders leaving the city to embrace more affordable coastal living.

5. Central West, NSW


  • Median house price (in Orange): $486,000
  • Population: 209,810

The Central West region of NSW, which includes the small city of Orange, has been fast rising in popularity in recent months. Orange has a comfortable median house price of $486,000, and is known for its wineries, winter snow and historical streets.

It’s also a popular weekend tourist destination being just under 4 hours from Sydney. For property investors looking into short-term rentals, Orange could be a place to consider. Other towns to consider in the region include:

  • Bathurst
  • Mudgee
  • Lithgow
  • Parkes
  • Cowra

6. Margaret River region, WA


  • Median house price: $480,000
  • Population: 16,000

In the August-Margaret River Shire, you can enjoy an easygoing Mediterranean lifestyle. The region is renowned for its quality wines, foods and natural beauty. With Western Australia having some of the strictest border closures in Australia in 2020, it makes sense that its residents are looking for a change.

The area is popular with tourists, so investors could consider purchasing a holiday home to rent out. If you’re visiting, don’t forget to take a cruise down the Margaret River, or try your hand at stand up paddle boarding.

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7. Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, QLD


  • Sunshine Coast median house price: $690,000
  • Sunshine Coast population: 333,500
  • Gold Coast median house price: $705,000
  • Gold Coast population: 540,550

Queensland’s Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast have proved popular with younger Australians in recent months. These smaller regions are just two hours away from each other, with the larger capital city of Brisbane resting between them. This region of south east Queensland has a lot to offer, from pristine beaches to the inland beauty of the Glasshouse Mountains right by the Sunshine Coast.

Both regions offer relatively affordable living, year-round warm weather and the convenience to commute into Brisbane if working from home isn’t an option. The influx of residents from other cities moving to Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane will likely result in higher property values and reduced vacancy rates in these areas.

8. Southern Grampians Shire, VIC


  • Median house price: $295,000
  • Population: 16,510

This western Victorian region closeby the South Australian border has seen high sales activity over the past year, with property price growth increasing 18%. Residents and visitors can enjoy an array of wineries, gourmet restaurants and beautiful natural landscapes. Melbournians who are tired of the city grind will enjoy the peaceful, relaxed country lifestyle of this region.

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The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: interest rate, home loan, lender, first home, first home buyer, new purchase, beach living, investing, investment, investment property, retirement planning

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