Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

City vs Country: Is It Time to Make a Switch?

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

City vs Country: Is It Time to Make a Switch?

Article excerpt

WITH Australian cities getting denser and more expensive, especially when it comes to property, it's no surprise the 'city versus country' debate is as hot as ever.

Cities remain popular with the younger generation, but many families and those moving towards retirement often contemplate the "big move" in search of a better work/life balance, fresh air and a mortgage they can actually afford, according to demographer Bernard Salt.

"As our cities get bigger, denser, more difficult to navigate, more threatening with things like car-jacking, more congested and of course, more expensive to buy property in, there is a growing desire to escape," Salt says.

"For people whose jobs and livelihoods are associated with a major city, it means looking just beyond the metropolitan area where they can commute from - in Melbourne somewhere like Kilmore or in Sydney a location like Richmond."

It's easy to double your property buying power with such shifts.

"Then there's a second category of people, who want to escape the rat race altogether, where they trade down their job, for a lesser income, in return for a better quality of life."

In both scenarios, the cost of property is central.

"Anyone, of any age, looking to make the move from city to country, looks at a range of infrastructure that's relevant to their time of life," Salt says.

Housing is almost always number one.

"For a young family looking for a better life for their kids, schools, shops, open spaces are important, but later in life, people consider access to healthcare and things specifically like medical imaging, wellness providers, physiotherapists - the kind of things you might need to maintain wellness as you age."

Salt says some of the fastest growing communities in any given state are often "lifestyle" towns, like Ballarat, Bendigo, Daylesford or Lorne in Victoria; Newcastle, Kiama, Bathurst or Bowral in New South Wales; Maleny, the Gold Coast or Tamborine Mountain in Queensland; or the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia.

The Ashcroft family - husband and wife Steven and Jodie and their sons Tyler, 13 and Jace, 10 - helped boost the population of Temora, a town of 3874 located 418km south-west of Sydney, when they moved from the NSW capital five years ago. …

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