Hunter Property Market Post-COVID
The Hunter Region is Australia’s largest regional economy, with an economic output of around $55 billion per annum and a population of approximately 750,000.
Apart from being an attractive business and investment location, the Hunter offers residents a lifestyle that is difficult to match, and it does so at a cost of living well below that of the major metropolitan areas across Australia.
Years of significant investment in the Hunter region has attracted billions of dollars in property development to meet the continued demands and growth of the region. Similarly, the revitalisation of Newcastle has fast gained momentum with a wide range of residential and commercial projects reshaping the CBD and neighbouring suburbs well into the future.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has swiftly upended lives, jobs and economies, we are yet to see the full impact on the housing market. And while industry experts predicted sharp falls in property prices – those predictions have yet to be realised.
In terms of residential property, Newcastle seems to have become its own market and no longer relies on Sydney as it once did. The Hunter's housing prices have also proved to be more immune to the impact of COVID-19 than has been the case in cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
What is becoming clear is that there are signs that trends post COVID-19 could benefit the Hunter property market. In many ways, COVID-19 has shifted the way people think about where they live and work, and the option of living further away from big cities has become more appealing for some Australians after the pandemic.
What could be seen as a potential lifesaver for the regional housing market is that COVID-19 has sparked a new wave of enquiries from people wanting to move from Sydney and looking for properties offering an improved lifestyle in Newcastle and also the Hunter Valley where the prestige property market is reportedly booming again. Hunter Valley real estate agents such as Jurds Real Estate have reported monthly sales more than double their monthly average.
In addition, as people adapt to remote working conditions, physical proximity to a workplace may become less important when buying a home. This normalisation of working remotely amid COVID-19 is more likely to bolster regional migration from Sydney as people become increasingly motivated to relocate to regional areas in search of more space, affordability and a more alluring lifestyle whilst maintaining their working arrangements.
All going well, the net impact of a post-COVID-19 market is that Newcastle and the Hunter region could well see market conditions improve further due to the rising population of the city, surrounding areas and also Maitland and Hunter Valley regions – increasing the demand for housing, boosting home renovations and creating jobs in the industry.
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