November 17, 2020

Are More Home Buyers Looking For A Tree Change?

COVID-19 has affected the lives of so many Australians in so many different ways.

For some of us, it’s caused a rethink about what we really want out of life. Maybe the city no longer has the appeal it once did – if this is true for you, then know that you’re not alone.

Here’s why home buyers are looking at Toowoomba as their ideal ‘tree change’.

What is a tree change?

Unlike a sea change, which is leaving the hustle and bustle of the city for the quiet coastal life, a tree change is all about moving inland, most often to regional towns with plenty of vibrant natural surrounds. It’s certainly a dream for many of us, but that’s what it usually stays as a dream. Research shows that twice as many Australians daydream about making a sea or tree change than actually go through with it.

But those figures are from a time before any of us even knew what COVID-19 was. Recent data from realestate.com.au shows that more and more people are searching for properties in regional Queensland – from Biloela (up 197% in views per listing), to Port Douglas and Daintree (+147.1%), Maryborough (+131.7%) and even the Central Highlands (+182%).

And, unlike the TV series of the same name that popularised the sea change, it’s not just downsizers and retirees who are looking to make the move. CoreLogic stats from the past 15 years show a whopping 80% of those moving from the city to regional areas are aged below 50.

What are tree-changers looking for?

There’s no universal answer to that question, and it will depend on a range of factors: age, home equity (or deposit size), family type and where exactly you want to make your tree change to.

In Toowoomba, there’s everything a home buyer could ask for and more – with lots of property variety to suit different tree-changers. Looking for large acreage plots where you can really stretch your legs? There’s plenty of land for sale on the outskirts of town in suburbs like Glenvale to the west and Highfields to the north. Looking for rural holdings or a home in town to give you access to all the amenities a large regional city has to offer? Toowoomba can provide that in spades.

Then of course if you simply want to buy a family home in the suburbs at a better price than you’ll ever find in a capital city, Toowoomba is a home buyer’s dream.

What makes Toowoomba a great regional move for homebuyers?

Offering a family-friendly lifestyle, fantastic schools, a buzzing café culture, and plenty of entertainment options, it’s no surprise that Toowoomba’s population has steadily grown year-on-year. Around 170,000 people live in the Garden City, and the growth rate tends to sit around the 1% mark annually.

So why are so many tree-changers looking at Toowoomba as the ideal place to reside? In addition to the lifestyle, close-knit community and plenty of amenities, there’s been a huge investment into infrastructure projects in recent years.

From the opening of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, to the completion of the Second Range Crossing, plus significant financing of schools, hospitals and job-creating programs like the Qantas Pilot Academy, it’s a city that has been earmarked as a worthy investment for years to come.

Top considerations for making your tree change to Toowoomba

If you’re thinking about a tree change and Toowoomba is in your sights, it’s important to consider what you want from the move – lest you fall victim to a sudden pandemic rush:

  • Weigh up the job opportunities: Yes, there’s typically fewer job openings than in big cities like Brisbane, but Toowoomba’s size means it’s a nice split between city and country life, with jobs to match.
  • Be prepared for a change of pace: It’s true that Toowoomba is large in the context of ‘country towns’, but it is still regional. That means you should expect a slower lifestyle, which can be jarring if you’ve only lived in a fast-paced city. That said, you’ll also enjoy a close-knit community, better work-life balance and a lower cost of living. All draw cards that make a treechange desirable.
  • Get more bang for your buck: Here’s a great reason to leave the expensive city behind and move to a regional area: the price of houses. Depending on your situation, you could sell your small house in the city for a large home in Toowoomba. Just consider the median price comparisons – in a family suburb like Brisbane’s Indooroopilly you’ll be looking at a median price of $915,000 (or $550/week to rent), whereas in one of Toowoomba’s most sought-after suburbs, Middle Ridge, the median price drops right down to $647,500 (or $445/week to rent).

Your ultimate tree change awaits in Toowoomba

A laid-back country lifestyle with all the amenities of a large city – what’s not to love about Toowoomba? If you’re ready to join the throng of tree-changers heading to the Garden City, contact an experienced local agent today to find your dream home.

Article by Daniel Burrett

A born and bred local, Daniel has been excelling in the art of real estate since 2009. In October 2013, he became the General Manager of RE/MAX Success complimenting his work as a Sales Professional. In conjunction with his work in residential sal… View profile

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