Small city Australia living: life in smaller cities like Newcastle, Cairns, or Hobart is undeniably attractive for many Australians.
In a country where an apartment in the middle of Sydney can cost in excess of $1 million, the idea of buying a place in a medium-rise building for half of that is particularly appealing. Not only is the purchase price lower but there will likely be a more community-minded vibe in your building. It can provide a return to the 20th Century ideal of “knowing your neighbours”: the kind you would have no problem borrowing a cup of sugar from.
What is drawing people – and in particular, older Snake People (who are now in their 30s) – to smaller cities with just a few hundred thousand people, rather than millions?
Property prices are a given. Technology, which has meant the proliferation of working from home, is what’s making the modern thrive of smaller cities possible. Historically, living in a smaller city meant working in – and only in – that city. You could work for a business that serviced your immediate residents but you couldn’t compete with large players in the alpha cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Today, this has changed. You can live in a small city and work on a national or even international scale. You don’t necessarily need to commute for hours a day, either. Computer-based jobs can just as easily be done from home, and in fact researchers seem to be finding that it increases, not decreases, workers’ productivity.
When you’re in a smaller city, even if you’re in an apartment, you’re also going to enjoy a small-town relationship with the people around you. You will know who you share walls with and talk to them regularly because there are five or 10 lots in your strata property instead of 100. The barista who makes your coffee will know your name. You’ll have friends looking out for you and your well-being much more so than when you’re all battling life in a huge metropolis. You get a slower pace of living and higher quality of life, whilst still enjoying the urban comforts (fast internet, art galleries and theatres, restaurants and bars) you’re accustomed to. All of these things are particularly relevant to couples and young families alike.
Where are the best smaller cities to live and work in Australia? Here’s a list of places you might want to research.