Why ‘The Great Escape’ Is Providing Regional Australian Homeowners With A Lucrative Opportunity

A glorified 'cubby house' recently hit the Sydney rental market for $375 per week, sparking quite the debate...

Why ‘The Great Escape’ Is Providing Regional Australian Homeowners With A Lucrative Opportunity

Image Credit: Ray White

A tiny one bedroom shack in Sydney, listed as a ‘modern garden studio’ has been put up for rent at $375 per week. The now semi-famous studio is located in Bundeena, a remote coastal village bordering the Royal National Park on the outskirts of far southern Sydney. 

As reported by Daily Mail, listing agent Shellie Boswell says that demand for granny flats in remote areas has been on the rise as Sydneysiders, newly empowered by the new option of remote work, flee from covid restrictions in search of a more easy-going lifestyle.

Ms Boswell said that the price of this humble studio was fair, as tenants could take advantage of the landlord’s generous offering of free electricity and water:

“If you’re paying for all the electricity and water, and there’s wear and tear, if you’re going to put a tenant out there, you’ve got to make a profit… Otherwise, what’s the point?” she said.

The backyard studio’s incredible location is also another major factor in the relatively high price. Situated less than 20 metres from the beach and just a few minutes walk from Bundeena’s shops and wharf, the shack does have a lot to offer.

Also, given the prices of similar-sized studios in somewhat comparable places (closer to the city) like the Eastern Suburbs, Cronulla, and The Northern Beaches, the price actually looks quite reasonable. So maybe those complaining are missing the point?

Let’s see what they had to say.

Image Credit: Ray White

When pictures of this particular Bundeena shack reached the ever-watchful eyes of Reddit, it was met with a stream of mockery:

“I legit thought it was a kids cubby house” said one user.

“My two-year-old would love to play with this. Can I get one delivered from Bunnings?” said another.

Internet sarcasm aside, stories like these serve as constant reminders of the housing affordability crisis in Australia. As city dwellers flee lockdowns, an increasing number of regular Aussies in rural areas are being priced out of their local markets, with a shocking number of people now being forced to live in their cars.

Australia’s Most Expensive Shacks

Early last year, DMARGE stumbled across a dilapidated tin shack on the far south coast of New South Wales which had been listed for sale at a stunning $3.25 million. 

Image Credit: Ray White

Victoria hasn’t escaped the price absurdity either. In November last year, a “beach box” with ocean views of Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula sold for a whopping $650,000.

The value of the surrounding shacks doubled overnight.

Image Credit: 7NEWS

While these prices may be a good thing for those lucky enough to be in possession of prized real-estate, they’re more than just something to be laughed at on Reddit. Ever soaring prices in an essential asset like real estate are alarm bells for an overheating market that threatens the livelihoods of millions of Australians that have been doing it tough during a global pandemic. 

With this being said, not all backyard studios and ‘great escape’ shacks are just opportunistic cash grabs. Down in Tasmania, this fully off-grid cabin will only set back a lucky buyer $150,000. The option for electricity is possible, but in order to be truly authentic, guests have to stoke the fire for the stove, gather eggs from the chickens and go fishing down in the nearby stream.

Image Credit: Realestate.com.au

Let the great escape begin…