MORE bang for your buck: that's the sentiment regional property agents are echoing when it comes to residential and lifestyle offerings in many country towns.
Meanwhile, the Sydney property market grows increasingly expensive and in many cases exclusive.
Now some buyers from Sydney are recognising just what their money can get them in the smaller towns not far from the services and facilities of the larger regional centres.
In Chatswood, in Sydney's north, a new luxury two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a parking space and access to recreational facilities is for sale with a price guide of more than $1.2 million.
Alternatively, in Holbrook, buyers can purchase "Old Thomond", a lifestyle property with a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home of rammed earth construction - also luxurious with modern features - on just under 22 hectares for $1.2m.
On a lower price spectrum, for $450,000 you can have a newly constructed four-bedroom weatherboard house on 4000 square metres (one acre) at Kentucky - half an hour south west of Armidale.
Northern Tablelands Property director Peter Ryan, Uralla, who has the Kentucky listing, said buyers could find more for their money by considering an area outside of the cities, and even outside larger regional centres.
"What we find for Uralla and Kentucky is that people have come out of Sydney, or from the coast, and they have come here to have four seasons in terms of climate, quiet rural living and still have the convenience of being close to the airport and to Armidale," he said.
"It is also much more viable to buy here than in Sydney, and even compared to larger centres like Armidale and Tamworth."
Mr Ryan has listed a new, four-bedroom weatherboard and timber home at Kentucky, complete with polished floorboards, open-plan living, kitchen benches using recycled timber and a large deck.
He said there had been good interest in the property.
"It is good for people working in Armidale, and they would have the benefit of the quiet county village life in Kentucky," he said.
Elders Real Estate Goulburn principal David Medina said he had seen strong interest in rural properties under 4ha, and residential blocks in villages like Laggan and Taralga, outside of Goulburn.
"These little villages are coming into their own," he said.
Among those interested had been buyers from Sydney.
"I think the rural residential blocks are always bigger than a house block in Sydney," he said.
"People are thinking it's a pretty good opportunity to come down here.
"There's a bit of a push at the moment to get out of Sydney and have a bit of a crack at living in the bush."
One of his properties prospective buyers had been paying a lot of attention to lately is The Old Bakehouse in Taralga, a timber and bluestone cottage in the village (and about 21/2 hours from Sydney).
It heads to auction on March 27 with a price guide of more than $200,000.
On a 973.8 square metre block, the renovated property offers two bedrooms, one bathroom and a 12-metre by 12m shed.
"I've got pretty solid interest in it, particularly from in town and also from Sydney," Mr Medina said.
"It's a little bit unique."
Ruralco Property Davidson Cameron Real Estate Inverell branch manager Carl Hurford said he had seen Sydney buyers seeking residential properties in Inverell as they were looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.
He said value for money was also a key contributor.
"They are often getting a really nice property for their money," Mr Hurford said.
He said he had not witnessed just one demographic of buyers looking at residential property in Inverell, but a real mix of ages including young families and retirees seeking a change of pace from the cities.
"You also see them getting very involved in the community as well, as they want to be involved and truly experience that rural lifestyle."