One in five want to move to country, a new survey says

Another survey details the desire of many city residents to move to the country.
Another survey details the desire of many city residents to move to the country.

One in five city residents want to move to the country, a new survey claims.

Yet more research has been released to underpin the unexpected rush of people escaping the cities for the country during the pandemic.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the nation's capital cities had a net loss of 11,200 people between July and September last year.

CoreLogic said house prices in regional areas were up almost eight per cent over the past year, while prices in capital cities lifted about two per cent.

Survey results released this week by the Regional Australia Institute shows one-in-five city residents are looking to move to the regions, with more than half wanting to make the jump within the next year.

The institute's chief executive officer Liz Ritchie said metro movers are looking for more space, to be better connected to the natural environment and they want a more relaxed lifestyle.

While real estate agents say the amount of houses for sale, especially within commuting distance of the city, is a limiting factor other experts worry whether regional towns have the infrastructure available to host sudden population boosts.

RAI commissioned a survey late last year among more than 1000 people in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth who were considering moving to regional Australia.

"What's really interesting about the survey we had commissioned is that the appeal of regional Australia is a stronger motivation to move than any dissatisfaction with city life," Ms Ritchie said.

"More than 69 per cent of all those surveyed said reducing general stress and anxiety is a major driver for considering a life outside our capital cities."

In answers to other questions, 70 per cent rated traffic congestion as a major factor and 68 per cent wanted to reduce their cost of living.

The great majority wanted the improved general well-being which regional life offers.

More than half said they were already considering relocation before the pandemic hit.

Other surveys have show the move to working from home and extended lockdowns was a large driver for people to relocate to regional areas.

In the RAI survey, larger coastal centres were the most popular locations for potential metro movers, but when it came to smaller areas, inland towns held their own against those on the coast, with about one third of respondents indicating an interest in both.

The lack of jobs was identified as the biggest barrier to moving to regional Australia although Ms Ritchie said the latest job vacancy figures show more than 54,000 roles are available in regional Australia, with professional and skilled jobs featuring strongly.

The release of the survey provides focus on the RAI's launch of a National Summit in Canberra on March 17-18.

"It will inform potential movers about the great opportunities to live, work and invest in regional Australia," Ms Ritchie said.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will launch a national awareness campaign at the summit to promote the opportunities to live, work and invest in regional Australia.

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This story One in five want to move to country: survey claims first appeared on Farm Online.