The Great Tree Change

Priced out of city property markets?

Many first-time property buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the market as property values in most capital cities continue to rise. Some realise their best financial option to enter the property market is with an investment property but for others, the emotional stability of owning and living in their own home has higher priority.

As a result, many younger families are now looking at alternative locations where they can live the ‘great Australian dream’.

Families are following the trend set by many retirees and are moving to regional and coastal areas.

Certainly, the concept of a tree change or sea change is nothing new. What is new is that statistics are now indicating migration to lifestyle markets is being driven by young families.

Embracing a new lifestyle

There can be a lot to love about a new lifestyle away from the frantic pace of the city. Just some of the positive aspects of a tree/sea change are:

• A greater sense of community

• A quieter and more peaceful life

• Possible space to grow your own produce and become more self-sufficient

• improved health due to fresh air, healthy living and less stress

• A more relaxed lifestyle for kids with far less pressure to keep up with a host of extracurricular activities.

A leading demographer claims the move to lifestyle markets reflects the greater satisfaction we demand in our lives these days2. Gen X is leading the way by proving to be a generation prepared to accept a less materialistic lifestyle for more time with family.

So if improved lifestyle is your key driver then there is every chance such a move could see you joining the ranks of raving fans!

On the other hand, if lower cost is your key driver the decision may require more careful research and consideration.

Isn’t lower cost a plus?

Entering the property market at a lower cost can be a compelling argument for such a move. However, the same research also revealed one in five tree/sea change moves don’t work out and people look to return to the city.

You should consider the current and future needs of all family members. Acknowledging possible issues can help you to plan how you will manage problems if they arise. For instance:

• If the commute to work proves too difficult are there alternate work opportunities nearby?

• What are the capital growth prospects? How has the area performed to date?

• Are there schools, hospitals, transport and shopping venues nearby? What are the proposed future infrastructure plans?

• How will you maintain contact with family and friends? Will they be prepared to visit – and vice versa?

• Are there job opportunities for your kids? Many kids move out to pursue job opportunities further down the track.

• Most importantly, what will you do if it doesn’t work out? How will you get back into a city market?

The key to success

Thorough research is the key. Here are our top tips:

• Choose a location that will suit the lifestyle the whole family would like.

• Don’t rush in. Spend lots of time there – maybe rent first.

• Research demographics and population movement for a guide to future market trends.

• Understand the job market. You may need to be flexible.

• As a couple or family ensure you share the same vision.

• Complete a detailed financial plan. Wages will probably be lower and potentially some costs higher.

• Consider services you might require further down the track. Lack of healthcare is often a BIG factor in tree/ sea change moves not working out.

• Be prepared to get involved in the local community.

Are there alternatives?

Already own a city property? Perhaps consider renting out your city property and using the equity in your property to purchase in your chosen lifestyle market. Your city property will remain your backup plan until you decide a tree change is your permanent home.

First home buyer? Not sure if a tree change move will work out? Perhaps you could consider becoming a renting investor by renting in your chosen lifestyle market for a period of time but purchasing an investment property elsewhere?

If you are ready for a change we are here to help! We’d love to chat…




Comments are closed.

Contact Us


Australian Office
Level 29, 221 St Georges Tce
Perth WA 6000
Phone: (61) 8 9214 3894
Fax: (61) 8 9480 3705

Singapore Office
8 Temasek Boulevard Penthouse Level,
Suntec Tower Three,
Singapore 038988
Phone: (65) 6829 2266
Fax: (65) 68292121