Will our city migration continue?

Ronald ChanSponsored
Finbar Chief Operations Officer Ronald Chan.
Camera IconFinbar Chief Operations Officer Ronald Chan. Credit: The West Australian.

The pandemic has had an impact on almost every aspect of our lives, including the way we choose to live.

It has resulted in work and lifestyle changes, differing patterns in terms of where we would like to live and, for many, a closer look at how they would like to be living.

The pandemic has also prompted a temporary shift away from our CBDs, in part due to extended lockdowns in our major cities, as well as the lack of migrants being allowed in to Australia, not to mention a halt in the flow of international students who typically reside in our inner cities.

However, recent CoreLogic data has pointed to a turn around in inner-city markets and an uptick in terms of the unit sector, which has tended to be more exposed than the housing sector over the course of the pandemic to date.

The booming housing markets across Australia have prompted a number of shifts in property markets.

As our major city and regional housing markets continue to enjoy booming conditions post the onset of the pandemic, many have reassessed their options when it comes to where they live.

With prices continuing to rise to record levels, many are looking to units and apartments as a more affordable option, whether that be to rent or to buy.

While many renters and would-be homebuyers may have dreamed of living in the inner city close to work and entertainment, they may have previously been deterred by the higher price and instead opted for life in the outer suburbs.

As both rental rates and price tags came down in inner-city markets as a direct impact of the pandemic, some began re-evaluating long commutes and took advantage of a temporary dip in the market to make the switch to an inner-city lifestyle.

Living on the city’s doorstep, within easy reach of work, amenities, infrastructure and entertainment, will always be a drawcard for owner-occupiers, investors and renters alike – pandemic or no pandemic.

While many have predicted the demise of our cities in the wake of COVID-19, equally as many continue to view it as a temporary shift before a return to a more normalised market.

This normalisation will see some elements of the work-from-home lifestyle continue at least in part for some sectors of the workforce, however already we are seeing a migration back to our cities.

Despite the impact on CBDs across the country – and the impact on many CBD businesses in Perth and beyond has been devastating – people will always return to our cities to live, work and play.

Apartments located in the city and city fringe will continue to appeal to an increasingly broad sector of the population.

Once our international and domestic borders finally open, this will only be exacerbated, as tourists, foreign students and migrant workers are welcomed back, ensuring our cities continue to evolve into diverse, multicultural, welcoming centres where business and tourism thrive.

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