Aussie househunters looking overseas for affordable properties

Published:  23 Jan at 6 PM
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Is this a new twist to global mobility – citizens of first-world countries moving overseas simply to be able to afford a home?

Following on from the rise of the digital nomad phenomenon, increasing reports are coming in of first-world nationals moving overseas in order to afford to buy a home. The difference between nowadays and several decades ago when retirees discovered Spain and other Mediterranean hotspots is that those expat trailbreakers mostly had homes to sell and were looking for a cheaper lifestyle in a better climate. As house prices soar in first-world countries, it seems that, for many, affordable property now comes first and a job comes later.

Australians have seen property prices go through the roof over the past few years, meaning owning a home is beyond the reach of a huge number of wage-earners. The new destination for potential Aussie home owners is, surprisingly, the USA, where house prices outside property hotspots such as California are still affordable. Also, economic prospects in many of the USA’s metropolitan areas seem brighter than in Oz. The trend includes Aussie expats, with a recent survey revealing an estimated 60 per cent owning overseas property against just 34 per cent owning homes in Australia.

American cities gaining popularity with Australian buyers include Portland and Seattle in Oregon as well as Las Vegas, where prices are lower than in favoured Californian locations but are expected to appreciate by some 5.8 per cent over 2018. One US real estate website has seen interest from Australian buyers rise to over a million browsers, with most traffic originating from Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and searches including the less expensive suburbs of New York.
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