Wizard Home Loans found in its survey that 79% of city-based investors who intend to buy an investment property in the next decade will consider buying in regional areas. "Once considered the poorer cousins of the property markets, regional properties are becoming more appealing with 94% of respondents citing affordability as their main motivation for investing regionally," said Mark Bouris, chairman and founder of Wizard Home Loans. Bouris predicts regional properties are likely to become a dominant market force with more than half of respondents (56%) already investing regionally. "The current environment provides investors with an attractive opportunity to enter the regional market before prices take a dramatic upturn as demand invariably outstrips supply and while the resources boom continues to underpin the prosperity of these areas," he said. The study also found that when given the choice of investing in either market, four in five investors said they would prefer to buy two regional properties worth $250,000 each rather than one property valued at $500,000 in metropolitan areas. "This shows that Australians are becoming savvier when it comes to building wealth through property," said Bouris. "As the popularity of both tree and sea change phenomenon continues to gain ground and prices in city-based areas continue to rise, regional Australia could fast become our hottest property." Despite the growing interest on regional areas, the majority of city-based investors are not prepared to give up their city life in favour of the slower pace of rural living, with only 9% considering the regional shift.

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