Coastal areas fringing state capitals have been the scene of a downsizing boom since the onset of COVID-19, due to more over 50s seeking a new sea change lifestyle with easy access to the cities.

An analysis of consumer search activity on during the financial year 2020-21 has revealed a clear shift towards waterside regional or outer urban areas which frame large cities.

Areas which have seen more consumers looking for downsizing and retirement living include:

  • Mandurah (Western Australia)
  • Newcastle and Wollongong (NSW)
  • Gold Coast, Redcliffe and Caloundra (Queensland)
  • Mornington and Geelong (Victoria) CEO Amanda Graham says the search results of the past financial year demonstrate that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent residential housing boom has sparked more over 50s to consider downsizing to a lifestyle-rich area.

“This generation has already accumulated considerable equity in their home after decades of paying off a mortgage,” she says.

“Their home has been their biggest investment over their lifetime and is now the key to their financial freedom.

“For many of these downsizers, moving to a regional area on the outskirts of a major city is very appealing. It gives them the best of both worlds - a new coastal lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle along with the ability to easily travel back into the city to see family and friends, or have them visit.

“In saying this, we are still also seeing very strong growth in search activity for capital city areas, which remain popular with downsizers seeking a vibrant urban lifestyle, along with a newer, more modern home with less maintenance.”

The trend towards coastal areas near capital cities is part of an upsurge in interest in downsizing, which has resulted in’s total page views increasing by 40 percent, and consumer enquiries lodged through the site increasing by 59 per cent, between 2019-20 and 2020-21.

A recent report by major bank Westpac found that 26 percent of homeowners are currently planning to downsize within the next five years, compared to 22 percent who were planning to do so in November 2020.

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