The search for a dream home far away from the city rat race remains the one constant of the cooling housing market.
There is evidence those city deserters are becoming even more desperate to find their bolthole in the country.
They have clearly abandoned some of their earlier must-haves such as being an hour from work.
Take Horsham in Victoria's west for instance, where the Real Estate Institute of Victoria this week said despite being 300km from Melbourne, there is still "exceptional price growth".
Median house prices in Horsham have spiked more than 40 per cent to $393,750 in the past year.
"... there are also still plenty of bargains in the bush," the REIV says.
Some property experts believe this winter's high sickness numbers, from COVID-19 and the annual flu, is fuelling yet another wave of departures.
They point to the unease of people returning to their city offices, amid more government advisories for employers to allow people to work from home.
Just this week Australia's chief medical officer Paul Kelly urged employers to let staff work from home again and encouraged mask-wearing in the office.
Net migration to regions up by almost 100 per cent on the average during the two years prior to the pandemic, a Commonwealth Bank report found recently.
CoreLogic has blamed interest rate rises and overall cost of living worries to the decline in demand in the cities which has expanded to include Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Adelaide had the strongest quarterly growth in house values among the capitals at 5.1 per cent.
It has been well documented by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and others that regional Australia's population continues to grow, at the expense of the cities.
Regional Australia's population grew by 70,900 people during 2020-21, in contrast to a decline of 26,000 for the capital cities, according to the Regional Australia Institute.
Only the lack of inventory of houses for sale and for rent has slowed growth in country areas in that once critical hour's travel time from the city.
It was once also important to be on a train line to aid that commute if the options of working from home stopped.
According to the latest home sale statistics, outer Melbourne (20km or more from the CBD) has joined regional Victoria in record breaking prices.
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The REIV says the "flee from city living has intensified for Victorians".
Annual growth for outer Melbourne houses has grown by 12.6 per cent.
The median house price in regional Victoria saw a 21.6 per cent annual rise from $500,000 to $608,000.
It's not just in the west, but Morwell in the east offers a median price tag of $325,000, after recording an annual 30 per cent increase in prices.
While the city housing market is cooling it is coming off a strong base.
In Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, the house price drop by 3-5pc comes after a 13.5pc rise year-on-year.
REIV president Richard Simpson said: "While there has been discussion on the impact of interest rate rises on house prices, it's important to note that Melbourne has recorded over 23 per cent increase in home prices over the last two years.
"The market remains strong, especially across regional Victoria. As expected, we saw a slight decrease in metro Melbourne as the market adapts to the current rising interest rate environment".
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