Home Alchemy, Nov 20

The great migration, that’s what it’s being called. It is a consequence of 2020, which coincidentally is also being referred to as ‘the big reset’. With many people working from home, the reality of not being location dependent for work has truly hit home. Alongside deep soul searching, many are considering big lifestyle changes for a more fulfilling life. Many are acting on or starting to explore dreams that they’d had only in the later or someday/maybe category.  

Regional suburb search volumes on realestate.com.au have surged since COVID-19 lockdowns began, indicating that many people are exploring leaving big cities in favour of regional areas.

And this interest has had a direct impact on growth in our region. According to REA Insights, in the three months leading to August this year Ballina ranked at number one for unit price growth in New South Wales with an increase of 26% to a median of $565,000. While Ballina and Byron also ranked in the top 10 best median house price growth for the same period.

Which brings me back to the point: the great migration. Lots of people are relocating to Northern NSW.  

And why wouldn’t they? It’s an incredibly beautiful part of our country. I, like others, made the sea change to be here. I’ve been here 16 years now and while I wouldn’t dare claim to be a ‘local’ yet, this area is definitely anchored as my chosen home.

Even in this short time I’ve seen a lot of change, and to be honest I have to work at times to find the positives in it all.  I can only imagine how hard it is for the legitimate, long term locals.  

The question or challenge is, how do we embrace these changes without losing aspects of community culture that make this region unique and so appealing?  The answer that keeps coming to me is with humility, compassion and kindness.  

We all need to drop any sense of entitlement and bring our best and kindest selves to the fore.  

With prices and demand going up, the affordability of living here for people who are already here is being stretched.  Many have been unexpectedly displaced and are struggling to find somewhere to land.  It’s an incredibly sensitive time with new arrivals full of anticipation having embarked on their dreams, while others feel they are losing grip on theirs.  

The big reset could lead to a kinder world if we are mindful of what we contribute in each moment and remember that fundamentally, everyone just wants to be happy at home.

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