For the last couple of years, you could be forgiven for thinking that regional Australia is the only place to be. Stories of soaring price rises and rental demand sit alongside happy families who are enjoying the extra space.
But while the regions are definitely having a moment, don’t forget that city living has its charms too. Consider the following:
City living means a shorter commute
Unless you’re working a fully remote job, you’ll have to head into the office sometimes. Living in an outer suburb or regional area can mean you spend serious time on the roads. Country towns often have poor public transport options as compared to capital CBDs, giving you less flexibility about how to travel.
By living near where you work, you can save money and time by walking or catching a tram or bus to the office. Reclaim hours of your day to do what you really love. That might be trying out a new restaurant, socialising with friends or reading a new book. Whatever it might be, it’s definitely better than being stuck in traffic.
You’ll have everything you need on your doorstep
Run out of milk at 10pm? In a regional town, you might be out of luck until the morning. If you live in a city, the chances are you’re only a block or two from the nearest 24/7 convenience store.
Country living means planning the ‘big shop’ once a week or even less often, depending how far you are from the nearest supermarket. Top-up runs in the meantime might be limited to the local general store or service station, which usually have fewer choices at higher prices.
For city dwellers, though, the need to plan is eliminated. With extended hour trading allowed in most CBDs, and a plethora of shops to choose from, you can pop out at any hour to grab the things you need.
The culture comes to you
Australia has a lot of space and, relatively speaking, not very many people. As a result, most of the sports, theatre, music and art exhibitions that come here tend to limit themselves to the major centres. Whether you’re a Van Gogh fan or an AC/DC aficionado, regional dwellers have to build travel costs into any plans to attend.
Not so their city cousins, who can be confident that the big shows will be well within reach. Whether it’s the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the Sydney Lyric or the Melbourne Cricket Ground, you can walk or Uber to your favourite cultural events with ease.
Smaller footprint, smaller bills
City living means a smaller home. Most city accommodation comes in the form of apartments, although you can still find some small row homes and townhouses if you hunt. For those longing for a huge garden, rumpus room, home office and a private library, city living is not the answer.
If you want cheaper, more efficient living without the upkeep, however, it’s ideal. The smaller your living space, the less it costs to heat or cool. Without a large garden, your water bills are also kept to a minimum. And since you’ll have fewer rooms to furnish, you won’t need to drop a month’s salary at IKEA, either!
Low maintenance means more time for living
Many people embrace apartment living for the sheer ease it offers. Instead of spending your weekends on DIY, gardening and other upkeep, you can spend time exploring the city on your doorstep.
If you’re living in an apartment, the chances are excellent that it’s a strata title (or less commonly, community title) property. Your strata fees cover a range of things, including maintenance and often a facilities manager. This means that repairs to common property will be organised by your strata committee and paid for out of joint funds. Less work for you.
Green spaces are just a stroll away
You might not have your own quarter acre of grass to enjoy, but Australia’s cities are well served for green space. Whether it’s the Adelaide Parklands, the Sydney Botanic Gardens, Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Gardens or Kings Park in Perth, the list goes on. If the weather’s fine, you won’t have any difficulty finding a tranquil spot to spread out a picnic or go for a stroll. And while you might have to share it with more people than a private garden, you also won’t have to do the weeding.
City, country, suburbs and towns all have their own special charm. In such a beautiful country as Australia, almost anywhere is a great place to live.