John McGrath - Queensland No1 For Relocations
We might be locked out of Queensland for the moment, but it is overwhelmingly the most popular destination for Australians seeking a relocation, with Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast the top picks, according to a new Australian Bureau of Statistics report.
Since FY2017, Queensland has experienced particularly high net interstate migration each year, with a wave of downsizing occurring as our population gets older; and more young city families making the seachange north for a relaxed lifestyle and lower mortgage costs.
People have always been drawn to Queensland for its year-round great weather and affordable property prices, however jobs growth has been a key lure in more recent times.
At a Glance:
- In 2019 Queensland had a net gain of 22,831 people from within Australia, well above its 10-year average of 12,409
- In 2019, NSW had the highest net loss of 22,063 people
- Of the eight capital cities, Brisbane attracted the most internal migrants with a net gain of 15,900
In FY2019, Queensland had a net gain of 22,831 people from within Australia, which is well above its 10-year average of 12,409. Victoria followed with a net gain of 12,198, also above its 9,885 yearly average; and Tasmania with a gain of 2,008, which was five times above average.
The ACT recorded a slight dip in net interstate migration last year but over the decade, the ACT, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland have typically recorded annual gains whilst the other states and territories have typically recorded losses.
In FY2019, NSW had the highest net loss of 22,063 people.
Of the eight capital cities, Brisbane attracted the most internal migrants with a net gain of 15,900. Most of them came from regional Queensland, Sydney and regional NSW. Melbourne followed with a net gain of 2,300 people, then Hobart with 990.
Sydney had the highest net loss with 25,600 people departing, mostly to regional NSW, Melbourne and regional Queensland.
Amongst Australia’s regional centres, the Sunshine Coast was the clear winner with a net gain of 6,400 people in FY2019.
Most of its new residents came from the adjoining areas of Wide Bay and Moreton Bay-North. The Gold Coast and Ipswich were also among the top 5 gainers.
Lots of projects and new jobs have driven population growth on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, whilst Ipswich has continued to offer affordability (median house price $360,000), good amenities and a diverse, growing industry and manufacturing base.
Big projects include the 20-year plan to redevelop Maroochydore’s CBD and a massive expansion of Sunshine Coast Airport that will facilitate more tourism and direct exporting and contribute an estimated $4.1 billion to the local economy through to 2040.
Meantime, the Gold Coast economy has significantly diversified with health care now the No 1 employer. There’s plenty of new infrastructure too, including two hospitals and the light rail which make it very attractive to seachangers.
Home values are higher in Queensland’s most popular regional centres compared to its capital city. Median house prices are $645,000 on the Gold Coast and $610,000 on the Sunshine Coast compared to $560,000 in Brisbane, according to latest CoreLogic data.
This is reflective of the exceptional lifestyle on offer in both coastal locations, which are large in size with rapidly growing business hubs, sophisticated and extensive shopping precincts, major projects providing new jobs and improved transport links by road and air.
The NSW and Victorian state borders have re-opened and other states and territories will follow over the next few months as Australia carefully treads a path out of Covid-19.
The Covid-19 pandemic inspired many of us to re-think how we want to live our lives. The great work-at-home experiment has shown we can work productively remotely, so this might pave the way for more relocations by city workers to Australia’s beautiful regional lifestyle areas.
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This article originally appeared in The Real Estate Conversation (June 1, 2020)