Article | Future Cities

A ‘push to the bush’ provides property boost

October 12, 2021

By Nick Heaton

A ‘push to the bush’ provides property boost

Push to the Bush was an initiative created back in 2006 which saw veterans take the spirit of Anzac Day out to school children living in remote and rural communities. Today, regional Australia is still at the forefront, but the ‘push to the bush’ phrase has taken on a different meaning as younger Australian families with small children seek a non-city lifestyle offering a slower pace of life, shorter commutes, and cheaper homes. In turn this is fuelling regional opportunities for commercial property investors and developers.

I recently had the pleasure of being part of an expert panel hosted by Emma French from Real Commercial to talk about the latest data and trends in the Australian commercial property sector – including the ‘push to the bush’.

Low unemployment rates, growing demands from the medical industry, the impact of COVID-19 on the hotel sector, the country’s strengthening industrial sector and the demand for office lifestyle elements, including access to pet friendly buildings, cafes and health and fitness options, were also on the agenda but a topic that stood out to me was the great migration to regional areas, which are emerging as clear winners as some of our largest city markets crawl to the lock-down finish line.

Thanks to the rise of remote and flexible working options, the door has been opened to significant lifestyle changes that were otherwise unrealistic. The regions are no longer just a target for Grey Nomads, who used to be top of mind when thinking about Australians ‘going bush’ for a change of pace, with younger families now leading the charge.

In turn, our head of regional NSW Metropolitan Investments Xavier Rahme says this is attracting interest from a growing contingent of investors and developers pursuing higher yields and prospective growth opportunities.

Xavier notes that these young families are taking lots of disposable income into the country and are buying up regional land, which is driving up prices and, in many cases, land subdivisions are selling for 100% more than what they were pre-COVID. There has also been a positive impact on retail and commercial property prices.

The ‘push to the bush’ has also had a flow on effect to regional tourism (pre the recent lockdowns), with one of our local radio stations recently talking about property owners who have listed their homes for short-term rental stays as they can get a greater financial return than by renting their properties long term.

This pandemic enabled movement is continuing to create opportunities for lifestyle changes, property investment options and regional Australia but how long will it last and who will be the next winner?

Our prediction is that savvy investors and developers will continue to chase regional opportunities in the hunt for yield and capital growth.

Watch this space.

Metropolitan Investments Australia

Our team specialises in the sale of investment and development properties between $1 million and $35 million and are dedicated to achieving premium results for both investors and owners.