The COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for change. Uprooted from our ‘normal lives’, it has allowed Australians to plan new adventures, many of which are focused around the home and neighbourhood. For those in rural and remote regions of Australia, the pandemic has been an opportunity to thrive.
Since the pandemic began, people’s expectations of where and how they want to live have significantly changed. Almost three in four Australians are rethinking the kind of home and neighbourhood they want to live in, and more than one in 10 people are now planning to move to a home and community that better suits their lifestyles and needs. There are two main reasons fuelling such big decisions: health and wellbeing and work flexibility.
Why work flexibility is working for change
COVID-19’s impact on working life has largely depended on one question: Can I or can I not work from home? For those who can, a hybrid model of remote work looks set to be the future, making migration from Australia’s capital cities a real possibility. For those who don’t have a hybrid model of remote work up their sleeve, technology and growth in regional and rural towns have presented new and exciting job opportunities.
Working from home has taken some time to get used to but it’s now the ‘new normal’. As such, many employees are reluctant to stuff the genie entirely back into the bottle by returning to the office 5 days a week. Flexibility is a dream worth chasing.
The ability to support remote working isn’t going anywhere. The workflows and technology implemented during COVID-19 will stay, making a return to five days in the office unnecessary for some. Negotiate your future work arrangement today and you could start planning your future in a rural or regional town – making way for a potentially better lifestyle that’s more accommodating to your needs.
Who’s making the move?
If you’re planning to make a tree or sea-change it isn’t something you’ll be doing alone. ABS data suggests an exodus from Australian cities is already underway and that city dwellers are packing up for country-living. Regional real estate agents are thriving with increased demand for regional and remote homes, and house prices in regional Australia are overall rising at a much faster rate than capital cities. In small rural towns such as Gnowanger, communities are coming together to help the flurry of new business owners find their feet while they start up much needed bakeries, newsagents and hairdressing salons.
Whether you’re moving to maximise on remote working opportunities or you’re moving to start a new life, a tree or sea change can have big financial benefits. For some, a move to a rural region can mean a cash purchase and a life that’s mortgage-free. For others, it presents a shot at the property market or the opportunity to own a home that’s much bigger than what they could afford in the city.
Why Western Australia makes for a good move
In 2021, Western Australian property prices are expected to grow by 15%. For now though, Western Australia is still the most affordable state in the country when comparing income to median house prices.
Western Australia doesn’t just offer financial value, it offers a lifestyle that’s unparalleled to other Australian states. WA is all about lifestyle and when you’re not on a Zoom call or commuting to work you can experience the whitest beaches, the largest expanse of the outback, World Heritage reef, premium wines, world-class surf, epic sunsets and great-all-year-round weather. One of the largest and most diverse states in the world, there’s never a shortage of things to do.
The people in WA are great too. If you have a young family or you’re thinking about starting one when you move, it’s an amazing family-friendly state with plenty of open spaces to embrace and explore nature. Community spirit is strong, especially in rural regions.
Working from home in Western Australia
Working from home requires you to make some decisions about your living environment. If you work from home, you’re not just buying a house – you’re also purchasing an office, a factory, a warehouse, a lab… so choose your home with your working life in mind. Your home shouldn’t be all about work, but for remote workers to thrive you need to consider how you will start and end your working day.
It’s important when setting yourself up for remote working that you have a work-space you can separate from your normal day-to-day living. Confusing your office with your leisure space will make it hard to switch off, no matter how beautiful your living spaces are.
At Plunkett Homes, we’ve been building homes that Australians love coming home to for generations. We’re now incorporating that experience to develop homes that work for remote working, so talk to us about your plans. We can talk you through the process of finding the right home in the right location and we can make your move as smooth as it can be.