Wednesday, October 20, 2021
International

People moving out of Sydney and to regional areas amid Covid

Sydney house

Covid restrictions had played a major role in Sydney house prices falling as regional areas thrived, according to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Covid scares are causing more people to move away from Sydney and live in a regional area where houses near the beach are much cheaper.

Median house prices on the New South Wales north coast, from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie and Forster, this year hit record highs.

Since April, during the early stages of coronavirus lockdowns, property prices in Sydney have fallen by three per cent while equivalent housing values in regional areas have risen by three per cent.

Sydney’s median house price of $1million, despite recent falls, is still double Coffs Harbour’s $489,952 and the Mid-North Coast’s $477,891, CoreLogic data for November showed.

The Richmond-Tweed area saw its price climb to $597,212 as house values at Newcastle and Lake Macquarie rose to $602,510.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment said Covid restrictions had played a major role in Sydney house prices falling as regional areas thrived.

This divergence may be due to many factors, including: regional industries being less affected by social restrictions, job opportunities driven by a stronger rebound in job vacancies in regional NSW and perhaps some people moving from Sydney given the ability to work remotely, it said in a report released on Thursday.

The summer bushfires of a year ago, the Covid shutdowns and the closure of Australia’s border to tourists caused the NSW economy to shrink, over an entire financial year, for the first time ever.

During the last national recession in 1991, the state economy grew over the year even as gross domestic product went backwards in the March and June quarters.

Economists at the NSW Department of Planning are particularly worried about the effect Covid will have on greater Sydney.

In 2019–20, the NSW economy contracted for the first time in recorded history, the report said.

The economy is a key driver of population change in NSW.

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