The Big Shift for Millennials – To Regional Locations
Change is certainly in the air. The dreams of only aspiring to live in the big smoke are shifting to a slower, less crowded more affordable life in regional locations in Australia.
With skyrocketing prices in capital cities, many Millennials have already been migrating to regional locations over the last few years. Now, with the changes to work-life with many companies allowing staff to work from home, the shift to regional locations is expected to be on the up and up.
Regional Australia attracted more people than it lost to capital cities during the last census, reveals a new report, which also found Sydney lost more millennials to the regions than it gained between 2011 and 2016. During this same period, the population outside Australian capital cities grew by more than 10%.
And the trend appears to be intensifying, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures projecting the population outside our capital cities will grow by 26 per cent between 2007 and 2026.
While 178,961 millennials moved to capital cities from regional Australia, more than 200,000 moved between regions. It seems there is a far bigger flow out of Sydney than into it with a recent Regional Australia Institute survey showing on average 37,000 people left Sydney for the regions annually between 2011 and 2016, exceeding the 32,500 who shifted to the city.
Sydney has been losing people to regional towns and smaller cities like Newcastle and Wollongong. People are chasing jobs and a better quality of life, some of them low-income people fed up with the high cost of living in the capital cities. And for the regional young people that are moving to the city – 1 in 3 end up moving back to their regional home.
It’s likely regional Australia’s stock has jumped to a new high since the onset of COVID-19, which has brought much greater income instability. About two-thirds of Australia’s export earnings come from regional industries such as agriculture, tourism and mining. Pre-COVID-19, 40,000 skilled and unskilled jobs were up for grabs in the regions.
Looking at the most popular regional locations around Australia recently, it seems the Gold Coast is topping the list. It’ll be interesting to see what changes over the next few years with the new work from home way of life.
Number of millennials moving in
LGA population, 2016
^2011- 2016. Source: Regional Australia Institute
Over the last few months, we’ve all had to change how we work and this has allowed staff and employers to see that location is no longer a barrier for where we choose to work. If location is no longer a barrier for employment, it’s possible that the trend to move to regional could swing even greater over the next decade.
So I guess it’s time to consider whether an investment in a regional location, with higher rental yields, could be a wise one.