Move To The Country: Why Are So Many People Leaving Cities?

February 6, 2024

Whether it’s for a more relaxing lifestyle, a career change or the cost of housing, more and more Australians are moving away from metropolitan areas. In fact, between 2017 and 2018 the number of people living outside capital cities increased by more than 83,000.

So with city living becoming less affordable every year, could it be worth seeking your dream property in the country?

Rising prices in the city

For first home buyers, upgraders, downsizers and investors alike, the cost of the actual property is only one part of the equation when deciding where to buy. Australia’s capital cities have some of the highest cost-of-living rates in the world – with the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey ranking Sydney (#16), Melbourne (#22), Brisbane (#41), Adelaide (#51) and Perth (#64) on its list of the most expensive cities in the world.

While investors won’t have to worry about things like the cost of public transport and the price of smashed avo and toast at the local café, they will have to think hard about whether it’s worth the investment on top of increased rates on utilities and insurance compared to regional areas.

Pros of country living

Moving away from the city and into a more regional area can have huge benefits for Australians, whether it’s for a more relaxed lifestyle, for better physical and mental health, or simply to escape to the country after running the rat race in the city.

Speak to anyone living in a country suburb and you’ll likely hear them describe some of the following as major pros:

  • Affordable housing and lower cost of living.
  • Relaxed lifestyle.
  • Reduced population and less congestion.
  • Warm and welcoming community.

Residents flocking to Chisholm

Just a few short years ago, with the price of housing in Sydney skyrocketing, we saw a mass exodus of home owners escaping up the coast to settle in the quieter Newcastle area. In fact, the harbour city saw an incredible surge in its population over three years, growing from 391,474 people in 2011 to 410,676 in 2012 (4.95% population increase) and 431,670 in 2013 (5.11% increase).

Since then, Newcastle’s population surge has plateaued, with only minor growth in subsequent years. However, the intention is clear: people want more affordable housing in less-crowded cities, and they are happy to move away from capital cities to find it.

Now, people are flocking to the Maitland suburb of Chisholm, getting the best of Newcastle’s proximity and amenities while also enjoying the freedom of suburban country living. It’s here at Waterford where residents can buy and design their dream home for a fraction of the price of property in central Newcastle, let alone Sydney.

Country vs city: Finding a middle ground

For many soon-to-be home owners, however, they have too many things tying them to the city to move all the way out to the country. With responsibilities such as work, school, and friends and family commitments, it’s not always feasible to simply pack up their bags and purchase a home in rural Australia – even if it is several hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper than buying in the city.

The solution is simple: find a middle ground. You don’t have to move to the bush to find affordable real estate, but neither do you have to endure the increasingly expensive cost of living near the CBD.

At a new development like Waterford, you can purchase a house-and-land package starting at less than $500,000. And the best part about a brand-new neighbourhood like Waterford is you get the best of both worlds – the country charm of the Hunter Valley’s vineyards on one side, and the beaches and city life of Newcastle on the other.


Waterford is an exciting new development set to become one of the most enviable suburbs in Chisholm, East Maitland. Enjoy natural beauty and spacious surrounds with all the convenience of stylish village living.

Enquire today to find out more about land and house-and-land packages at Waterford.

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