Young families flock to coastal areas in search of homes

By Gerv Tacadena

Young families are going after coastal areas for affordable homes.

It's out with the old and in with the new for many Australian families who are now considering Tasmania to escape the skyrocketing costs of homeownership in cities.

A study published by Conversation revealed that the seachange phenomenon – where Australians flock from metropolitan areas to smaller communities on the coast – is no longer limited to retiring baby-boomers seeking the comfort and lifestyle of coastal locations.

The study looked into the demographics of the recent seachangers wanting to settle in places such as the Sunbelt Coast around Byron Bay in northern New South Wales and Tasmania. Using data from ABS Census of Population and Housing data for 2016, Conversation found that the largest age group moving to Tasmania was 25-29 years old, which comprised 14% of all movers. It was followed by 20-24 and 30-34, making up 11.8% and 10.3% of all recent seachangers, respectively.

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The trend is similar in Sunbelt, where those in the 25-29 age group made up the largest portion of movers at 12.9%.

There is, however, a minor difference as to where the recent movers came from. While a large chunk of seachangers arrived from overseas, the two areas also attracted local migration.

"For Tasmania, the next biggest groupings relocate from Greater Melbourne (13.8%) or the rest of Queensland (12.6%). For the Sunbelt, large proportions of recent migrants previously lived in Greater Sydney (23.7%), the rest of New South Wales (22.3%), or the rest of Queensland (12.7%)," the study said.

The most congested cities are suffering the highest rate of internal migration losses. In fact, of the five substate regions in Australia with the highest migration losses, four are in Sydney – including Inner South West, Eastern Suburbs, Paramatta and the Inner West

Meanwhile, the study also looked at the most common factors driving the seachange trend, which were found to include housing affordability, debt, stress, and overwork.

"Other important concerns include risk perceptions of living in the city, bringing up children in simpler settings, experiencing increased quality time due to shorter commutes, and the imagined peacefulness of living in less populated and more aesthetically pleasing environments," the study said.

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