Published on April 5th, 2016
Is it still worth buying rural real estate in Australia?
If you've been following along with the economic news of late, you'll have noticed a particular doomsaying theme – that the mining boom seems to finally be turning to a bust as global commodity prices for much of what Australia pulls out of the ground drives mining enterprises into losses.
But what does this all mean for the property market in the regions? Is there still a reason to purchase rural real estate?
A grim outlook
It appears that the typical rural regions for investments in Australia are rapidly suffering a turnaround in economic strength. While mining still remains one of the most important Australian industries, it appears that the property market is suffering. The most recent CoreLogic RP Data Pain and Gain report describes how property in the major mining regions of Australia are overwhelmingly being sold for a loss, as mining dries up and jobs move elsewhere or disappear entirely.
A light at the end of the bore tunnel
Rural Australia has a lot more to offer than just jobs for miners.
However, it could be that people are simply looking at rural real estate in the wrong way. People aren't always necessarily moving out to these areas in order to find work. Living in rural real estate is becoming more and more accessible to people of all ages, not just the stereotypical retired person looking for a lifestyle plot or hobby farm.
The world is becoming more connected, both globally and nationally. People can work from home far more easily nowadays, while the national broadband network rollout is bringing the internet to those more remote places where it was previously unavailable. While the mining boom could be killing off buyer demand as jobs disappear, the fact remains that rural Australia has a lot more to offer than just jobs for miners. It's an entirely different lifestyle, and it is becoming more and more popular for the average Australian.
Just look at Sydney. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, this was the city that suffered the highest amount of internal regional migration, most of it going to Melbourne and "the rest of NSW" – including rural real estate. There was a net loss of 16,000 people as many Sydneysiders decided to move out of the city over a single year, perhaps pushed out by the rapidly increasing property prices. Many people simply cannot afford to live in the cities, and the regions offer a far more reasonable and often no-less-connected community in which to work and live.
The same rules apply for rural property as every other market: boost your search for property by utilising a local real estate agent with expert knowledge. The rural regions of Australia still have plenty to offer, but only if you know where to look.