With the second wave of COVID hitting NSW harder than before, the Mid-North Coast could see another influx of sea-changes in the coming months.
According to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 43,000 Australians moved from capital cities to regional areas after last year's outbreak, with regional NSW having an increase of 12,700 residents.
This was the largest migration since the beginning of 2001.
John Hicks, Professor of Economics at Charles Sturt University, believes that it's very likely to see another increase in permanent relocation.
"I don't think there is any doubt that COVID is encouraging people to leave the city, people are trying to get away from high-density living. And so one of the ways in which they can do that is to move out of metropolitan areas into regional areas," Prof Hicks said.
In regards to immediate effects that residents would notice of this change, Prof Hicks said one of the big challenges of an influx of sea-changes would be finding work for them.
"We are getting close to that upper limit now of places to work on the North Coast," he said.
"Also there is quite a shortage of accommodation in most regional areas, and people are going to find it increasingly difficult to actually buy places.
"The other major factor which very few people seem to be taking into account is the absolute lack of infrastructure in regional areas (public transport, health services, shopping centres), all the sorts of things that people leaving the city are used to, and once they get here they may realise and want to go back."
2020 ABS statistics of regional migration
Greater Sydney had the largest nett loss (-31,600 people) of all the capitals from internal migration that year.