The Regional Australia Council 2031 is set to launch a national campaign to raise awareness of opportunities in regional Australia. However, there is one demographic that is already on board, understanding that regional Australia offers plenty of opportunities. Even before millennials were hit hardest by the COVID-1d pandemic, they were seeking out better lives beyond the major cities. This movement was this week confirmed by a new report that has assessed population trends in Australia. It seems millennials aren’t trying to leave the small town for the big smoke, it’s the opposite. The report, Big Movers: Population Mobility in Australia has examined population movements and data between 2011 and 2016. The findings are interesting and challenge what we may thought about millennial motivations. It seems that the 20 to 35 years old demographic either stayed in regional areas or moved to other regional areas in Australia, instead of shift to capital cities. Interestingly, Sydney lost more millennials to the regions than it gained during 2011 to 2016. Although, overall the numbers still show more of this demographic generally moving from regional Australian towns to the cities. In fact, 208,000 millennials shifted between regional communities during this period, rather than go to metro areas. Regional Australia Institute (RAI) chief economist and report co-author Kim Houghton calls millennials the “golden demographic”, and commends their consciousness relating to the benefits of regional communities. Some of those benefits include vital infrastructure such as hospitals, airports and universities. With that infrastructure comes jobs and lifestyle choices including cheaper homes. “They're younger, they're enthusiastic, and they're often in the early stages of family formation so if [that happens], they'll make deep roots in those communities and stay on for a long time,” Dr Houghton said. The Gold Coast, Newcastle and Sunshine Coast, Greater Geelong, Cairns, Toowoomba, Ballarat, Maitland, Greater Bendigo and Lake Macquarie are all popular destinations. Mining communities are also popular due to the higher wages on offer. “It says something, I think, about the affordability factors around the outer suburban areas, the congestion that's going with that and the alternative lifestyles that we do have in many parts of regional Australia, in comparison perhaps, with many parts of Europe,” Dr Houghton said. The housing market is attractive in regional Australia We all know housing is cheaper in regional areas, even though the market has dipped slightly. Prices in regional Australia is certainly enticing. Looking at NSW specifically just before the pandemic hit, you could buy a house in the Murray River for $420,000, with the most expensive being Bellingen at 620,000. In Victoria, Ballarat is a stand-out as a satellite city. Others to consider in Victoria are Warrnambool and Swan Hill. Suburbs along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road are also popular. Thinks about: relaxed lifestyle, near the water, family friendly home that will set you back just $500,000 to $600,000 dollars. There are gems like these throughout Australia, enticing millennials to not only get into the property market, but to put down roots and make a life. It is also worth millennials capitalising on low interest rates. The banks are currently in a war as to who can go lower with their fixed interest rates. Westpac and NAB offer the lowest fixed interest rates. NAB recently dropped its no-frills NAB Base Variable Rate special offer by 15 basis points to a historical low of 2.69 per cent p.a. (comparison rate 2.69 per cent p.a*). This rate is for owner-occupiers paying principal and interest. You do need a 20 per cent deposit, but if you’re paying a lower price in a regional area this is highly affordable. You can compare Principal and Interest (P&I), owner occupier variable interest rates through InfoChoice and that is just the tip of the iceberg with featured home loan offers that could give millennials the leg up they really need to break into the market. There’s lot to like about Australia’s regional areas. With infrastructure in place and an affordable lifestyle on offer, there is little doubt the millennials may teach is a thing or two about living post COVID-19. This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information. Home Loans: The comparison rates are based on a secured loan amount of $150,000 and a term of 25 years. Personal Loans: The comparison rates in this table are based on a loan of $30,000 and a term of 5 years unless otherwise indicated in the product name with^, in which case, the comparison rate is based on a loan of $10,000 and a term of 3 years. The comparison rates are for unsecured personal loans only for the relevant amounts and terms. The comparison rates for car loans and secured personal loans are for secured loans unless indicated otherwise. WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. Comparison rates are not calculated for revolving credit products. The products compared in this article are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market and influenced by a range of factors including interest rates, product costs and commercial and sponsorship arrangements InfoChoice compares financial products from 145 banks, credit unions and other financial institutions in Australia. InfoChoice does not compare every product in the market. 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