• Quentin von Essen

Love Where You Live!


Newcastle, Australia’s seventh-largest city and once known for its BHP Steelworks, coal and a little band called Silverchair has, in the past two decades, reinvented itself as a bustling multicultural city and a vibrant place to live with a diverse economy based around both industry and the service sector.


However, regional cities such as Newcastle are moving away from the traditional manufacturing and agricultural industries that powered their growth over the 20th century toward more professional and service-based economies. For example, the largest employment sectors in this region are health, education and social services.


Apart from being an attractive business and investment location, the Hunter offers residents a lifestyle that is hard to

match, and it does so at a cost of living well below that of the major metropolitan areas across Australia.


For those of us lucky enough to live here, there is no better place to live, or a place that offers so much diversity with its pristine beaches, cosmopolitan nightlife and of course Australia’s premier wine region right on our doorstep – not to mention an outstanding place to raise a family.


But of course, with recent global developments, the secret is out, and those city slickers residing in the major capital cities have used the pandemic as a catalyst to fast forward any dreams of pursuing a life filled with more affordable housing, less traffic congestion and evenings walking along golden beaches.


Beyond a stripped-back lifestyle, buyers are seeking affordability as prices in capital cities continue to climb. Regional cities such as Newcastle and Lake Macquarie are amongst the many regional towns and cities capitalising on this trend – not to mention offering a tonic for city dwellers overcome by pandemic-induced malaise. Tree changers are also buying up big in regional areas such as the Hunter Valley which is up there as one of Australia’s top 10 affordable tree change locations.


While pre-COVID living in a regional area and working for a city-based company may have seemed impossible, the lockdown phase has shown that physical proximity to a workplace is less important when buying a home and people can effectively work from home without having to battle peak-hour traffic to be productive.


Before COVID-19 hit, there was already a strong trend of sea and tree-change homebuyers looking for the best of all worlds – lifestyle, accessibility to employment hubs and affordable housing – especially amongst the over 40 demographic. But there is now also an increasing tendency for younger families to move away from employment hubs to an area with better lifestyle prospects. And it is not just owner-occupiers who want to move away from the cities; big, property investors are also becoming more drawn to regional markets.


As a result of this net migration coupled with affordable housing prices and low interest rates, the region’s economy is looking reasonably resilient over the next few years encouraging investment and the introduction of new technologies and fuelling the demand for new residential and commercial developments as well as tourism.


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