Regional house prices soar due to coronavirus exodus from cities, but some locals now live in cars

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House prices in regional and coastal Australia have skyrocketed in the past year as families and retirees have swapped European holidays for new homes, but it is creating a crisis in one Queensland region.

CoreLogic data shows house prices in Victoria’s Grampians, Noosa and the Noosa Hinterland in Queensland, the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia and Maranoa in south-west Queensland jumped at least 13 per cent last year as coronavirus cut off overseas trips and working from home made it easier for people to move away from cities.

The picturesque Grampians, in Victoria’s west, recorded the biggest leap in house prices – rising 16.6 per cent in the year to December 31.

Grampians real estate agent Nic Cullinane said he more than tripled the number of homes he sold last year as coronavirus-weary Melburnians made the leap.

“Even before COVID, people were saying they were sick of Melbourne; the crime, how long it takes to get anywhere,” Mr Cullinane said.

“Then COVID kicked in and it really … [motivated] those sitting on the fence.

“They want to get away from everyone and have time and space away from the busy Melbourne lifestyle. People told me they moved because they were sick and tired of lockdown.

“The other thing is how affordable properties are; you can buy a decent house for $350,000.”

grampians
The mountainous area of Grampians National Park is a major drawcard for those wanting to move out of Melbourne and into the regions. Photo: Grampians Tourism

While a large number of those making the change were retirees, Mr Cullinane said locals were also moving around to upsize or downsize, and young families moved to the area for space.

“The market here hadn’t moved in 12 years,” he said.

“Then, all of a sudden, it’s gone up.

-ABC

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