NSW relocation grant extension 'good news', but not going to slam brokers

by Mackenzie McCarty16 Sep 2013

The New South Wales government recently announced an extension to the 2011 relocation grant, with the aim of enticing urban-dwellers to move to regional areas, but whether this will have a major impact on regional brokers’ business remains to be seen.

As part of the scheme, city renters will now be offered $7,000 to buy property in  rural parts of NSW, while a ‘skilled regional relocation incentive’ will also be on offer for people willing to relocate in order to fill local jobs for a minimum of two years, without having to buy property.

However, Tamworth broker Craig Mackay says the initial introduction of the grant back in 2011 has had little impact on his business.

“We have seen quite a few people move in from the city out to the country, there’s no doubt about that and they’ve been doing it because the housing is a lot more affordable. But we haven’t had a lot move just because of that grant. A lot of them move because of work commitments, for a change in lifestyle, or to be closer to family. Some of them have grown up in the country, moved to the city and had a family and are starting to move back as the family gets older. So we haven’t seen people move specifically because of that grant,” says Mackay.

But he’s happy the state government has extended the grant, adding that for city-dwellers who are already planning to move to regional areas at some point, this could be a helpful push.

“It’s something that will cover the costs to relocate, there’s no doubt about that. But I don’t think that’s the last straw for them moving and I don’t think that’s the only thing they’re basing their [decision] on…From what we’ve seen since the grant’s been introduced, it hasn’t had a massive effect on our business but hopefully it’ll have a flow-on effect for the future.”