Regional housing markets are experiencing growth due to movement from the cities to the regional areas.
The impacts of “working from home” arrangements are going to be massive. Not only is commercial and retail space in the CBD’s going to be severely affected, the flow on to supporting services will also be affected. Instead of 20 coffee shops per km downtown, we’re going to see a reduced demand as less traffic is in the CBD. Less demand for services, less demand for transport, less taxis. It’s going to be quite massive.
With the population moving to regional areas, partly due to affordability of housing in the regional areas, but partly because “they can” as a result of “working from home” arrangements and fully cloud businesses.
Smaller supporting businesses including specialists will necessarily migrate to these regional cities to support the city folk moving further out to the regional areas. Perhaps the suburban butcher, coffee shop, or other speciality store will also head out that way.
This should likely reduce demand for residential in the larger cities, and prices will soften in the medium levels where people have been priced out of the market.
Whether this move to regional areas is part of a bigger trend, and the likely impacts of this move, are still too early to determine.
However, the big change is going to be for accounting firm owners.
When staff are distributed into regional centres, it will only take a small amount of time to appreciate that distributed Australian staff can be sourced from really any location, which means staff may physical stay in the same house for decades, whilst changing jobs frequently.
And if the government finally decides to remove the mobility tax on Australians by doing away with the stamp duty on houses, then likely Australians will move around within a small town, not held down by their job, but more likely by whatever social or other ties they have to the community – be it children’s school. Membership of the rural fire brigade or whatever.
Once we go down the road of Australian compliance staff being distributed regionally, in part facilitated by cloud systems, then the competition for the work that is done is truly international. This means quality offshore providers are no longer ruled out by the tyranny of distance. The extent to which this impacts the concept of a full time job, is yet to be seen, but we live in interesting times, and we’ve yet to see a new normal.
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