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Escape to the Country

Escape to the Country

Melburnians looking to escape the city for regional areas have increased their desire to buy property amid the latest coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Domain.com.au reported that buyers living in Melbourne have tripled in there searches in some regional areas, concentrating on towns that are not locked down like metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire.

With working from home slowing becoming the new normal, many inner city workers are deciding to work and live remotely in these smaller communities instead of the higher price’s metropolitan areas in Melbourne.

One of the targeted areas is the regional city of Ballarat which has seen a boost in the number of Melburnians wanting to move there. The town desirability comes from the fact it is only a one and a half hour drive from Melbourne’s CBD. Many Ballarat locals travel into the city for work every week by train. Working from home for these people saves a considerable amount of time that would usually be spent commuting every day.

Another big appeal of Ballarat, other than its smaller population, was its connection to the NBN, making it a good place to be able to work from home and still be connected with your colleagues remotely.

If you are a first home buyer, you can also benefit from the of $20,000 for first-home buyers who sign a contract to purchase or build a new home in these regional areas, in comparison to the $10,000 grant given to those who wish to buy in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Rentals have also been snapped up with a log cabin in Beaufort, advertised for $280 per week, seeing four groups from Melbourne applying for the property.

While Bendigo agents had experienced a rush after the first lockdown ended, they have yet to see a boost in inquiries this time around, however, they have noticed a similar general trend with many Melburnians looking to escape the city.

While agents and some locals were welcoming of the area’s new residents, there was still fear about the spread of coronavirus in regional towns. There was even a local supermarket in the town of Nhill that refused a group from Melbournians entering the store.

These local agents are working to keep the risk of coronavirus at a minimum, only allowing prospective buyers through houses in one-on-one inspections, providing hand sanitizer, and opening all doors themselves so visitors would not have to touch any surfaces.

Even if people have the type of job that accommodates working at home, there are still certain elements of a work life that many employees will miss. While avoiding a long commute, and the ability to work from the comfort of home, are added bonuses, those things are likely to lose some of their initial appeal if remote work continues to be a company policy for the rest of the year. Remote work is undoubtedly the safer option right now, and it is an option that will suit some workers.

Too soon to tell if working from home, moving to these remote communities is just a phase, or will it become the new normal.

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Kial Jarred

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