With COVID impacting employment, many tenants in capital cities are starting to look outside the big smoke to more affordable rental markets in regional Australia according to property expert Anna Porter.

The median rental in locations like Cronulla in Southern Sydney can be as much as $850 per week for a house, where as the regional areas outlaying like Nowra, the commercial hub of the South Coast is less than half of Cronulla at $370 per week.

“If someone has lost their job or had their hours reduced too much, the Government benefits just may not be enough to sustain a Sydney or Melbourne lifestyle,” says Sydneysider Anna Porter.

“Many Sydneysiders are now looking to the country for an early tree change.”

Suburbanite Principal, market commentator and former valuer, Anna Porter, says traditionally the capitals attracted people to the areas for employment and education opportunities, but with most Uni’s and TAFE’s going on line in the wake of COVID people can study from anywhere now.

“The big one is the change in employment opportunities, if you don’t have a full time or well-paying job in Sydney or Melbourne you just can’t afford to live there, so you may as well live in the country and have lower expenses each week,” says Porter.

“In the past 2 weeks, I have spoken to a number of families that are getting ready to make the move out of Sydney and looking to the North or South coast areas as their jobs have been impacted by COVID and they suspect it will be a long-term challenge they face as they are in hospitality, travel or entertainment,”

“They are looking at ways they can save hundreds of dollars a week and repurpose their skills to other industries, or go back to studying and retrain into a totally new profession.”

Porter expects this will have a huge impact on the regional property market with rental vacancies potentially reducing as more rental demand comes through over the next 12-24 months, as well as a boost to local economies.

“Something regional Australia could really do with as they will no doubt be feeling the economic impact of reduced tourism, and drought, floods and fires are still very much part of our regional landscape with many communities still trying to recover from these disasters of late,” Porter says.

“So, a boost to economic spend and some underpinning to the property market won’t hurt at all.”