Aussies are seeking a great destination, not a ‘great resignation’

The ‘great resignation’ talk in 2021 has been overdone, however many Australians are seeking out new destinations, as part of the growing flexible working phenomenon.

Greater destinations, not resignations

The labour market will become very tight in 2022, belying talk of a ‘great resignation’. It’s a simple catchphrase, but it’s also a furphy. What we have seen, though, is a significant demographic shift towards lifestyle destinations, with more of our property buyers than ever before taking advantage of flexible or remote working arrangements.

Consequently, a large number of lifestyle areas, particularly those with reasonable access to the major employment hubs of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, are likely to enjoy strong demand, mainly for freestanding houses.

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Several industries are experiencing skills shortages, with job advertisements up by about 50 per cent from pre-COVID levels, and, as a result, wages and pay packages are increasing. This is giving those seeking desirable lifestyle locations the confidence to negotiate for flexible or remote working arrangements.

Figure 1 – Job advertisements have boomed from pre-COVID levels
Figure 1 – Job advertisements have boomed from pre-COVID levels / Source: Australian Government, Labour Market Statistics

Coastal and sea change shifts

During 2020, net interstate migration to Queensland rose to the highest level in more than a decade-and-a-half at over 30,000 over the calendar year, as thousands relocated away from Victoria’s restrictions. This is indicative of a wider shift towards coastal and lifestyle markets over the past 18 months.

It’s not just been true of Queensland, but also of the northern New South Wales coast, the Central Coast, and the South Coast, and well as the southern highlands and other desirable regional locations.

Figure 2 – Interstate migration

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This year we’ve seen a huge increase in the use of virtual inspections, with more interstate buyers than ever before able to purchase properties with the assistance of a buyers agent in, for example, south-east Queensland without flying up and down from Sydney or Melbourne.

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