It is no secret that properties in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are in demand. Prices have risen dramatically over the past five years. But will this trend continue?

Soaring living costs, inaccessible housing markets and years of remote working have driven a major shift in people’s interest in relocating, according to research by leading payroll and HR services company ADP.

The  People at work: A Global Workforce View survey found that nearly half (45%) of Australian workers  either want to relocate within Australia, or are already in the process of doing so. Additionally, 40% of respondents were planning or in the process of moving overseas.

Exposure to working from home was an important influence on whether people wanted to relocate, with those who worked from home (58%) being almost three times more likely than those who were not (20%) to want a sea or tree change.

“The last few years have given some employees the confidence that remote work is viable for them. This has opened up a plethora of opportunities to relocate and pursue a better quality of life, affordable housing, and new job opportunities,” said Kylie Baullo, Managing Director ANZ at ADP.

“The pandemic changed workers’ expectations and we are seeing an increased need for employers to provide a better work-life balance to retain and attract top talent,” adds Mrs Baullo.

The desire to relocate was strongest for 18-24 year olds, with well over half (60%) looking for a change in scenery. Meanwhile only half as many (28%) of 45-54 year olds felt the same. Additionally, men (55%) were more likely to be motivated to move than women (36%).

“This dispersed workforce creates a win-win for employees and employers,” adds Mrs Baullo. “The high cost of living in major cities has made rural and regional areas more appealing, especially to younger workers.”

“Employers can access a greater talent pool in opening up new geographies to source grass-roots talent from,” says Mrs Baullo.

The research also found that more than half (54%) of 18-24 year olds and nearly two thirds (65%) of 25-34 year olds would consider looking for another job if their employer insisted on a full-time return to the workplace, compared to 46% of the 45-54 age bracket and only 27% of the 55 and over demographic, with a strong correlation between the desire to relocate and the demand for flexible working models amongst the younger age bracket.

However, with office occupancy now at its highest level since the pandemic began in Australia, potentially driven by less-accommodating work-from-home policies, ADP suggests employers need to be prepared for a hybrid workplace.

Even with a recent softening of  regional markets as interest rates rise they still remain more resilient than those in capital cities. While  properties are taking longer to sell locally demand is still strong.

In the flexible workplace, the longer term balance between work at the office and the home  is still up for grabs, although it seems likely that for many ‘white collar’ and professional workers it will be two or three days in the office focused on Tuesday to Thursday. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are sufficiently close to Melbourne and major centres for that pattern make them an attractive location.