Lifestyle towns rise as NBN makes working remotely easier

MORE Australians are set to swap big city living for a laidback lifestyle in country and coastal towns, new research indicates.

A report released on Sunday said the ability to work from home would help a growing number of people skip the commute and move to "lifestyle towns" for a change of pace.

These places were often still near capital cities but offered more affordable homes and a lower cost of living, the report said.

Demographer Bernard Salt, author of The Super Connected Lifestyle Locations Report, said there was a "quiet lifestyle revolution" in suburban Australia.

Mr Salt said the ability to work remotely from home was changing the work-life balance for Aussies, identifying the rise of more than 600 "lifestyle towns".

"The fusion of a relaxed lifestyle in tree-change and sea-change locations combined with super connectivity provided by the NBN network is giving people even greater scope to take greater control of where they live and how they work," Mr Salt said.

"I predict a cultural shift or 'e-change movement' which could see the rise of new silicon suburbs or beaches in regional hubs as universal access to fast broadband drives a culture of entrepreneurialism and innovation outside our capital cities."

About one in six of the 1000 people surveyed for the report, commissioned by the National Broadband Network, were unhappy with spending too much time commuting to work.

Mr Salt estimated about 400,000 Australians had cut down on their commute times by working from home and predicted this figure to grow to more than a million within a decade.

About 40% of respondents had also considered a sea change, compared with 18% who said they had considered making a move to a major city.


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