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Homebuyers embrace the tree-change trend in 2022

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In the past, it was a sea-change people lusted for, but in recent years, homebuyers are honing in on a tree-change, seeking a better quality of life with a natural backdrop.


In 2022, this property trend is predicted to continue, regardless of the fact that many people are already being coaxed back into the office after two years under the work-from-home regime began.


You may only be hearing of this tree-change trend now because it only really presented as a popular option when COVID-19 first hit. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that increased numbers of people began moving to less populated regions in 2020, which is apparently the highest net level since such records began.


What lifestyle are buyers looking for?


Geoff Bailey – social researcher at McCrindle Research predicts that homebuyers will continue to focus their attentions on obtaining a tree-change in 2022, particularly considering that flexible work options are still widely available regardless of your location. 


According to Bailey, the typical Aussie desires a simple lifestyle, the ability to live their values, commute less and pay more attention to self-care. He notes that together with a slower pace of life and cheaper house prices, homebuyers have become increasingly attracted to the regions in recent years – especially since the median house prices in both Sydney and Melbourne have skyrocketed to beyond $1 million. 


Why are people moving?


As reported in the latest ABS figures, 233,100 people arrived to live in regional areas Australia-wide in 2020, which totalled a net migration of 43,000 people. That’s huge!


A whopping 16,970 people moved into regional areas of Queensland in 2020, which is almost triple the number of the year prior.


ABS data shows that Queensland was the state with the largest infux of tree-changers that year. Could the NSW and Victorian lockdowns have played a major part in this?


What effect does this trend have on the property market?


Due to such significant migration in 2021, house prices in regional towns soared – the biggest increase being from September 2020 to September 2021 in Hepburn, Victoria.


According to Domain data, prices increased dramatically by 44.1%, which led to a house price median of $792,000. Then in NSW, a median of $1.36 million was reached in Kiama and Wollongong, where house prices rose by 40.9%. It was unreal.


Tasmania’s Glamorgan/Spring Bay was up 39%, while South Australia’s Victor Harbour increased by 23.1% and Broome in Western Australia rose to 18.4%. 


Gympie in Brisbane’s north saw house prices jump to 27.9% with a median of $447,000, though it was still more affordable to buy here than any of our Australian capital cities. 


Many in the industry are saying that the reopening of the Queensland border will bring buyers interstate in 2022 – buyers that had previously been locked out of the market due to lockdown. By the looks of it and from what we’re seeing in real-time, I would have to agree this is the case.


So what are buyers looking for in their tree-change home?

Perhaps since lockdowns were enforced, we have all had time to think about what we really want in a home – seeing as in many cases our leisure spaces have also become our workspaces. 

Larger, more spacious homes with four bedrooms and two bathrooms seem to be high on our buyers’ list of desirable features this year, and it makes sense. In a society that demands social distancing in public, more space within the home will not only provide maximum comfort but also be less of a stark contrast between your private abode and the world beyond your front door.


So what are you looking for in 2022? A comfortable house for work, rest and play? A downgrade to a smaller, minimalist-style of living in a leafy area, or perhaps a home with a spacious floor plan surrounded by a lush forest or bush?


Whatever your home buying wish list consists of this year, we can find the perfect match for your needs – and make the experience one you’ll remember.


Want to buy your next property within your SMSF? Click here for more info on how we may assist you.

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