Buyer's agency Propertyology tipped Byron Bay as Australia's best community prototype to have already adopted the work from home (WFH) demographic. 

“A significant 13.4% of Byron’s workforce nominated ‘home’ as their primary work address at the 2016 Census. That is 3-times the national average of 4.7%,” Propertyology Head of Research Simon Pressley said. 

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LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
$2,408
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$530
90%
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5.99% p.a.
5.90% p.a.
$2,396
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80%
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6.14% p.a.
6.16% p.a.
$2,434
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$250
60%
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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Mr Pressley also pointed to the ease of access Byron Bay had to nearby cities like Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as well as the beach lifestyle it offered. 

“It’s no coincidence that Byron’s airport passenger volumes have exploded over the last 20-years," he said.

"The airport ranking has significantly improved from being Australia’s 40th biggest carrier in 1993-94 to 17th in 2019-20.”

Byron has one of the largest WFH cohorts in the country, despite only having a population of 35,000, and also boasts the highest median house price in the country ($995,000 in June 2020). 

“Over the last 20-years, no Australian location, capital city or region, had a higher average annual rate of capital growth than Byron," Mr Pressley said.

"One shouldn’t underestimate the role that work-from-home played in this outcome.”

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Mr Pressley said the key location criteria for WFH was a relaxed lifestyle, coupled with two-hour access to capital cities by car, plane, or train. 

Other locations with a high portion of WFH at the 2016 census were: 

  • Coastal locations: Surf Coast VIC (12.8%), Kiama NSW (11.4%), Noosa QLD (10.8%), Esperance WA (8.8%), Ballina NSW (8.3%), Bass Coast VIC (8%), Victor Harbour SA (6.9%)
  • Winery and foodie cultures: Adelaide Hills SA (13.8%), Macedon Ranges VIC (11.1%), Margaret River WA (8.7%), Mornington Peninsula VIC (8%)
  • Other inland wonders: Golden Plains VIC (16.9%), Scenic Rim QLD (12.3%), Maleny QLD (11.9%), Warragul VIC (9.2%), Armidale NSW (6.8%)

Propertyology found other locations with WFH appeal included Orange, Cessnock and Albury (in NSW), Cairns, Townsville, Hervey Bay and Yeppoon (in QLD), Kingscliff and Batemans Bay (in NSW), Bendigo and Warrnambool (in VIC), Hobart and Launceston (in Tasmania), and Geraldton (in Western Australia).

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What's the scope of the WFH phenomenon?

With millions of Australians forced to WFH in the last six months, Mr Pressley said the scope of the shift was considerable. 

“Imagine if Australia’s total WFH workforce increased to just 10%," he said.

"That would mean that, in a country with 10.5 million households, 1.3 million people would be earning their income with ‘home’ being their workplace.”

He conceded WFH wasn't for everyone, but predicted some people would adopt it as their new normal. 

“Some will go one-step further and move town to do it from their dream location. Some have already done it!”

Propertyology pointed out 46% of the 13 million strong Australian workforce could WFH with little to no impact on their performance. 

“Examples of roles that can comfortably service their customers no matter where they live include lawyers, accountants, journalists, mortgage brokers, call-centre operators, engineers, marketing consultants, web designers, analysts, and graphic designers," Mr Pressley said. 

He added, unless you were living under a rock it was obvious there would be "a transference of housing demand away from congested and expensive capital cities and towards more relaxed parts of regional Australia".





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