• Aussies ramp up searches for new neighbourhoods in wake of COVID-19

    For many home buyers, the first step to finding a new home is deciding what neighbourhood they want to live in.

  • For many home buyers, the first step to finding a new home is deciding what neighbourhood they want to live in. 

    The “Research Suburbs” section on realestate.com.au gives house hunters detailed information about every Australian suburb. While the volume of searches at a national level remains unchanged compared to a year ago, overall activity has increased by 35% from a low point in April this year, just weeks after the Coronavirus crisis hit.

    With that increase in search activity comes a clear shift towards interest in regional areas, as opposed to city suburbs. While suburb searches aren’t necessarily reflective of people moving to a particular area, this trend indicates that more Australians are considering making a lifestyle change post-lockdown.

    The most popular suburbs nationally

    Since April 2020 the area that has seen the largest increase in suburb searches nationally is regional Northern Territory, with a jump of almost 135%, despite overall volumes being low.

    Suburb searches in regional Victoria came in a close second with an historical increase of more than 130%. In August alone, the volume of suburb searches in regional Victoria was up more than 80% on the previous month. On the flip side, suburb searches in the Victorian capital of Melbourne dropped in the same period, reaching an historic low in August 2020.

    Regional Queensland and regional South Australia saw the third and fourth largest jumps respectively.

    The most popular suburbs state-by-state

    At a state level, there appears to be greater interest in regional Australian suburbs compared to capital city areas across the board.

    New South Wales

    Searches jumped across all regions in New South Wales with the largest increases in Mid North Coast, Far West and Orana.

    In Sydney and surrounds, Central Coast, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven recorded the greatest increases, while Coffs Harbour, Illawarra, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Richmond Tweed each had a record number of suburb searches in August 2020.

    The smallest rises were seen in Sydney Inner West and Eastern Suburbs.

    The NSW Mid North Coast region saw a 75.4% increase in suburb searches in August 2020. Picture: Getty


    Suburb searches in Melbourne have dropped since April with the largest falls in Melbourne West and Inner South.

    All regions outside the city recorded an increase in suburb searches, with a jump of more than 300% in Warrnambool and South West followed by a 260% increase in North West.

    Geelong was the only regional Victorian market that did not have a record-high number of suburb searches in August.


    Suburb searches in Queensland’s key lifestyle markets, such as Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast, increased the most between April and August 2020.

    The smallest increases were in the inner-city markets of Brisbane South, Brisbane North and Brisbane Inner City.

    In August, Cairns, Moreton Bay South, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Townsville and Wide Bay each had record-high search volumes.

    Queensland’s Sunshine Coast received an 84% jump in suburb searches in August 2020. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy

    South Australia

    SA’s Barossa, York and Mid North region received the most attention from suburb searchers between April and August 2020, recording a 70% jump in search activity. Adelaide North came in a close second with an increase of 62%.

    The smallest increases over the same period were recorded in Adelaide Central and Hills, and Adelaide South.

    Western Australia

    Across WA, the biggest increases in suburb searches between April and August 2020 were recorded in Outback (North) and Outback (South).

    Western Australia’s outback regions received the biggest jumps in suburb searches in August 2020. Picture: Unsplash

    Meanwhile, the smallest increases occurred in Inner and South East Perth.


    The largest jumps in suburb searches over the same period were in the South East, Launceston and the North East.

    The smallest increases were in Hobart, West and North West.

    Australians are warming to regional life post-pandemic

    Regional suburb search volumes have surged since COVID-19 lockdowns began, while the rebound has been much more tepid in the capital cities.

    It’s important to note that there is no clear link between these searches and purchasing behaviour, but it does indicate that Australians are increasingly starting to look at their options in regional markets.

    There is a clear trend away from city life and towards regional living post-coronavirus. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy

    Overwhelmingly, those regional markets, adjacent to capital cities, have seen the largest volume of searches, suggesting that while people may want to move outside of capital cities, they intend to remain relatively close to town.

    As lockdowns ease and travel becomes easier between the states and territories, it will be important to watch sales trends, to see whether these areas also experience a commensurate uplift in transaction activity as people make the shift out of capital cities to regional markets.

    Originally published on realestate.com.au under “Aussies ramp up searches for new neighbourhoods in wake of COVID-19”

    Select a topic to view more blogs and videos:


  • Have us call you

    We'll be in contact within 2 business hours

    * Required

    By submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read and accept our privacy statement

  • Disclaimer:

    While such material is published with permission, RAMS is not responsible for its accuracy or completeness.  This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness of the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.