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Boom in Aussies buying up restaurants, pubs, hotels and bars in regional centres

With international borders closed, regional Australia is seeing a dramatic surge in popularity.

More people are moving out of the cities and into quaint communities. City slickers are looking for new careers and business opportunities, with regional Australia being bought up at record pace.

Manenti Quinlan and Associates Director Leonard Bongiovanni said city residents are being wooed by the “fresh air, rolling hills and open landscape of regional Australia”.

“We are seeing a trend in people who are able to continue working from home, or are just looking for something new, moving out of the city to embrace a slower, more relaxed way of life,” Mr Bongiovanni said.

“People aren’t looking at cramped apartments, expensive housing and ancient terraces with the same rose coloured glasses on anymore.

“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.”

Over many years of operation, Manenti Quinlan and Associates services and expertise has expanded to offer a range of brokerage services, as well as other divisions, including valuation, advice to financers, receivers and managers, and feasibility studies.

The brokerage arm of the business covers a vast number of industries, such as motels, hotels, liquor stores, childcare centres, caravan parks, guest houses, boutique hotels, resorts, international hotels, general business, and commercial and retail spaces.

Mr Bongiovanni said Manenti Quinlan and Associates has sold more than $35 million worth of property in the past month, the majority of which was in regional communities.

They facilitated the sale of commercial properties to a number of investors who are looking for business opportunities outside of the city for prices such towns have never seen before.

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

“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.

“The handsome sale of Soden’s Australia Hotel was the topping on a stunning month, with $35 million worth of property sold in just three weeks. When the bidding started on the landmark hotel in Albury, close to the NSW border with Victoria, we knew we would achieve an excellent outcome and our price guide of $4 million-plus reflected this.

“I could see that it was an excellent property on a good landholding with valuable gaming machine entitlement – but when the parties started bidding, I did not expect it to fly straight past that mark so quickly – it literally skyrocketed until the hammer finally came down at $5.45 million.

“This historic 1857 hotel is in good company among the other incredible assets that have been snapped up over the past couple of months. The Woodenbong Hotel in Woodenbong on the Kyogle Shire of northern New South Wales, the Royal Hotel in Taree, the Marina Resort in Nelson Bay, The Peninsula Nelson Bay Motel and Apartments, and the John Hunter Motel in Muswellbrook are just a few of the record breaking regional hotel and hospitality property sales that have occurred in 2021.”

Regional Australia is seeing a generational change in the way people are working and travelling, as the population recognises that they don’t need to be in a city workplace any more. People aren’t going overseas and are realising how beautiful this country is instead.

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

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

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