Australia has one of the most residentially mobile populations of any country. This means we don't mind moving house. Researchers refer to this as Net Internal Migration or NIM. With so much attention focused on Sydney's hot property market and the rapid growth in the city's house prices recently, it is easy to see how regional migration starts - when people move from cities to regional areas.
We are already seeing many families priced out of Sydney looking for more value for their money. This migration pattern has been creeping up into the Central Coast and Newcastle over the past few months.
In fact, Newcastle has experienced the second largest domestic migrants - that is people moving or migrating within Australia. the ABS reports that in 2010/11 period, Newcastle was second only to Perth in receiving the highest amount of people moving from other capital cities. Newcastle was also the 6th highest net gainer of domestic migration as a percentage of its population between 2006-11. Source: ABS 2012a, 2012d and 2012e.
With Newcastle experiencing some of Sydney's spillover, there seems to be a local problem emerging. Some Novocastrians are now looking to do the same and eyeing off other areas within the Hunter Region in which to start their families. A quick search online for houses for sale around $400,000 in Newcastle throws up a few apartments and small, unrenovated two bedroom homes on very small lots. In Sydney of course, the pickings are much slimmer.
Rachael Brecht from Jurds Real Estate in Cessnock says "We have been getting more enquiry from Newcastle and the Central Coast buyers. We even see some Tree Changers coming from Sydney. They are looking for good quality renovated houses with large backyards and good schools and good sporting and shopping facilities. We have all this and more in Cessnock with the beautiful Hunter Valley vineyards and their world famous cafes and restaurants at our doorstep, we really do have lots to offer."
"We just listed a fully renovated house on 800sqm with double garage in one of Cessnock's most sort after suburbs. It has three large bedrooms, two bathrooms, stone benches, marble splash back and other luxury fittings and it's offers over $399,000." Brecht explains.
With the Hunter Expressway now offering quicker access, you can be in the Newcastle CBD within 50 minutes. Cessnock is a two hour drive from Sydney. There are good local employment opportunities, as in this city which has a population of over 54,000, there is a strong, diverse economy. The health, tourism, retail, manufacturing (wine) and training and education industries are the highest employers in the area. See this interesting link showing a full breakdown of the employment segments.
For buyers from Sydney or Newcastle a three bedroom house on 800sqm of land for $400,000 is very good value. When you combine the low interest rates we are experiencing now, then this may be a great way of getting ahead.