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Going Bush: the Implications of Urban-Rural Migration




Traditionally, migration away from urban centres by those seeking lifestyle changes has been towards beach environments. More recently though, there have been small movements of people to rural environments seeking similar lifestyle changes. These movements to rural locales have been popularly referred to as treechange. Previous research on exurban migration has primarily focused on quantifying the migration process and attributes of the migrators. In contrast, this paper presents some preliminary findings on the impact of urban-rural migration on a small, semi-rural receiving area north of Melbourne. More specifically, it explores the impact that exurban migration has on local housing markets such as increases in house prices, decreases in affordability and declines in rental stock. The research also illustrates the divisions that appear in local communities between traditional residents and ‘newcomers’ over amenity issues and economic development.