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City employers heading regional to open up shop

Emma Ryan
25 June 2021 1 minute readShare

Regional areas are set to benefit from a boom in city slickers looking to invest in local restaurants, pubs and hotels and bars, according to a director.

Manenti Quinlan & Associates director Leonard Bongiovanni said the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired many employers located in capital cities to head regional for new careers and business opportunities.

“The fresh air, rolling hills and open landscape of regional Australia is even more of an attractive feature to city residents who have been hardest hit by COVID-19 lockdowns,” he said.

“The city does not have the same allure that it did prior to the pandemic. COVID-19 put a lot of things in perspective for Aussies — and the appeal of regional Australia has finally won out against the country’s major cities.

“Regional Australia is home to some of the most phenomenal real estate in the world. The restaurants, pubs, hotels and bars in these areas are positioned town-centre on generous blocks of land, with incomparable opportunity coursing through their woodwork. It hasn’t taken long for city slickers to recognise the investment opportunity that these regional businesses offer post-pandemic, with property being swept up left and right.”

Mr Bongiovanni noted his company — which focuses on a number of industries such as motels, hotels, liquor stores, child care centres, caravan parks, and commercial and retail spaces — sold more than $35 million of property in the last month, the majority of which was positioned in the country’s regional communities. 

“The latest in a rush of hotels, motels and liquor stores that have sold have seen sales for record prices,” Mr Bongiovanni added.

We’re seeing a very buoyant market at the moment in regional Australia, and with overseas travel off the table for a while yet, Australia’s hospitality and accommodation sector is booming.

“We’ve got a lot of people visiting venues all over the country, and people can see the long-term value in these regional properties and are paying the price for them. There’s been a real shift in the mindset and we’re currently getting so many inquiries, and so much interest, in these hospitality assets in country areas, and up and down the coast.”

Looking ahead, Mr Bongiovanni said he expects the trend to continue.

“People are now wanting to get out of city corporate life and are looking for new opportunities in the country or on the coast,” he said.

If they buy a restaurant, pub, hotel or bar business, they can run it, too, so they’ll still have an income.”

City employers heading regional to open up shop
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Emma Ryan

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