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Commuter hubs 'moving further from centres'

Commuter hubs are increasingly moving further away from the city centres they are intended to service, it has been suggested. 

People who travel into cities for work now appear to be happy to live as far as 150km away from central business districts (CBD). 

Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo in Victoria, Newcastle and Wollongong in New South Wales and the Gold Coast in Queensland are among the new commuter hubs across Australia. 

This is in spite of the fact that commuter hubs have traditionally been situated between 20 and 50kms away from CBDs.

Demographer Bernard Salt told Real Estate that both burgeoning and established commuter hubs are attracting substantial new populations. 

"It is very much the case that people are looking further than they traditionally have, it's more like a 150km radius of the city," he commented. 

Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo - and also Traralgon and Morwell - are booming in Victoria - and Mr Salt suggested this is partly as a result of investment in infrastructure and housing stock, making it more affordable than Melbourne. 

CoreLogic RP data shows that the median home value there is $797,000. In comparison, the corresponding figure for Geelong is $601,250, Ballarat's is $309,500 and Bendigo's $350,000. In Traralgon the median house price is just $275,000 and Morwell's is even less at just $153,500.

"Improved train travel times and upgrades to road links, like to the Western Highway, the Deer Park bypass and the highway to Geelong make a huge difference when people think about moving further out," Mr Salt remarked. 

An estimated 12,000 people a day commute from Geelong. Sydney is also well served by freeways, boasting one of the largest commuter belts in the country. 

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