City slickers are looking to cash in and move to the country, according to new reports

By Bernadette Chua |

Investing it


City slickers are looking to cash in and head out of the metropolitan areas according to new statistics. But the overall sentiment is looking bleak with buyers becoming more cautious.

The 2020 Property Investment Professionals of Australia Investor Sentiment Survey found that 67 per cent of buyers think now is a good time to buy property, down from 82 per cent the same time last year.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. PIPA member and buyer’s agent Ben Plohl said the regional markets were growing as the appeal in the metropolitan markets weakens.

“We have been active in parts of regional New South Wales and regional Victoria over recent months because of the favourable market conditions in these locations,” Mr Plohl said.

“The survey results also show that many of these areas will be welcoming plenty of new residents in the months ahead, which will likely further strengthen property markets in some regional locations.”

In places like the Southern Highlands, which has long attracted Sydneysiders for weekend getaways, Belle Property agent Hayley Sneddon said she has seen a massive increase in interest in the last two to three months.

“The Southern Highlands has always been high on the radar for Sydneysiders. It’s only an hour and a half to the city, and we are so close to the beach, to Canberra and there is good infrastructure like schools and hospitals nearby. But around 70 per cent of our inquiries are from the city,” she said.

“What we are finding though, is that locals are being priced out of the market and we are selling property between $1.5 to $6 million. Any property that has a land size of half an acre to 100 goes like hotcakes.”

Ms Sneddon said Belle Property had recently sold newsreader Sam Armytage’s Bowral property – a sprawling five-bedroom country estate with wraparound verandas on two hectares. She paid $2.2 million in 2017 for the property.

And celebrity hairdresser Joh Bailey also recently sold his Bowral home in just five days. The 12ha property had 20 inspections in just four days.

“One couple who were selling their home through us, had 20 private inspections and we had more than 150 inquiries. They said enough was enough and sold it by the end of the day,” said Ms Sneddon.

“But the problem is that locals are getting priced out of the market. We simply can’t compete with cashed up Sydneysiders who are selling their property for big money in the city.”

Ms Sneddon also said with the rise of Sydney folk looking to move away from the city, rental prices have been pushed up significantly.

“A lot of prospective buyers will rent first for a few months before buying, which pushes up the rental market. It’s more affordable than renting in the city,” she said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed earlier this week that property prices fell by 1.8 per cent in the June quarter, making it an opportune time for first home buyers and investors.

The average price of an NSW home fell almost $20,000 in the part quarter to $871,800 as the pandemic weighs in on the housing market and around the country.

The statistics saw that every capital city apart from Canberra recorded falls in property prices. House prices in Sydney fell 2.6 per cent and 2.8 per cent in Melbourne. Attached dwelling prices fell 1.4 per cent in Sydney and in Melbourne, 1 per cent.

“All capital cities apart from Canberra recorded falls in property prices in the June quarter 2020,” head of prices statistics at the ABS, Andrew Tomadini, said.

“The number of residential property transactions fell substantially in the eight capital cities during the June quarter 2020, due to the effects of COVID-19 on the property market.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom – prior to the June quarter, residential property prices rose 6.2 per cent through the year. The only capital cities which did not see property price increases was Perth and Darwin.



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