There has been a boom in Aussies buying up restaurants, pubs, hotels and bars in regional centres, as people move out of the cities, looking for new careers and business opportunities in rural areas.

Hospitality industry consulting and brokerage organisation Manenti Quinlan (MQ) claim restaurants, pubs, hotels and bars in regional centres are being snapped up at a record pace.

Associates director Leonard Bongiovanni said the open landscape of regional Australia continues to appeal to inner-city residents hit by COVID-19 lockdowns.

“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,” he 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.”

Mr Bongiovanni said MQ has sold more than $35 million worth of property in just the last month – majority  within regional communities.

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

“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.”