Why everyone is moving to Queensland

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Queensland is winning Australia’s real estate popularity contest, and it is not just because of our enviable weather.

New research by Propertyology has revealed that the sunshine state is not only the destination of choice for the majority of interstate migrators, but those that already live here are in no hurry to cross the border.

Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley said analysis of ABS data had confirmed that many Australian residents were choosing satellite cities on the outer-fringes of capital cities, and major regional cities.

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Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley.

He said that Queensland, Hobart and parts of regional Victoria and New South Wales were the big winners.

“Number one on Australia’s popularity winners list is the Gold Coast,” he said. “With a median house price that’s only 60 per cent the cost of Sydney, the Gold Coast attracted 7441 new residents from other parts of Australia last year.”

Popularity Winners — 2017/18 Internal Migration Source: Propertyology

Mr Pressley said that interstate migration continued to accelerate in Queensland, contributing 28,668 new residents to the state’s population growth for the year ending June 2018.

Who wouldn’t want to live here? (Photographer Glen Anderson — We Are Gold Coast)

He said that the last time Queensland saw such high migration levels — either from interstate or within the state — was back in 2005.

“But only 10 per cent of Queensland’s internal migration gain chose digs in Brisbane City Council — home to 25 per cent of the state’s total population,” he said.

Of the cities seeing the biggest gains in new residents, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions were the most popular destinations in Queensland.

Population — Where are they moving? Source: Propertyology

The findings come after another report predicted that Brisbane would see a massive jump in house prices over the coming three years.

The latest analysis by BIS Oxford Economics has forecast a massive 20 per cent growth in house prices in Brisbane, with demand being driven by its relative affordability compared to other capitals and a pick-up in positivity.

Brisbane at sunset. Picture Lachie Millard

The Residential Property Prospects 2019—2022 has the city’s median house price growing at almost double the speed of the nearest growth capitals Adelaide (11 per cent) and Canberra (10 per cent). In contrast, prices in Sydney (6 per cent) and Melbourne) were set to remain in single digits in terms of percentage growth over the three years.

BIS Oxford Economics associate director Angie Zigomanis said he expected Brisbane to be a big winner by the end of 2022, bucking the slow recovering coming out of southern markets.

“The next 12 months we still expect (house price growth) to be fairly weak in Brisbane but moving into 2020 is when it will pick up,” he told The Courier-Mail.

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The Australian Property Market Report July 2019 by realestate.com.au also revealed that Brisbane is “leading Australia’s recovery”, having weathered the downturn “very well” with prices only falling by 1 per cent over the past 12 months and recording 0.1 per cent growth in the June quarter.

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Meanwhile, the Propertyology analysis found that one of the most obvious trends identified by their research was the migration of so many people away from capital cities to regional areas.

For example, 6370 Australians relocated to the Sunshine Coast but only 4266 moved to Melbourne.

Sunrise hitting Mooloolaba high rises. Picture Lachie Millard

“Likewise, for the 5559 people who left Adelaide during the year ending June 2018, a similar combined volume of people moved to Geelong and Port Macquarie,” Mr Pressley said.

“The combined sum of people who decided to move town and chose Fraser Coast (1376 people), Maitland (1189), Bendigo (980), Ballarat (883), Tweed (829), Scenic Rim (637) and Dubbo (375) is comparable to the 6659 people who packed their bags and left Australia’s fourth largest city, Perth.”

“More and more people are re-evaluating their need to remain in a capital city and being lured to the many wonders in other parts of our diverse country.”

Mr Pressley said there was too much focus on total population growth in places like Sydney and Melbourne, the two cities hardest hit by the property downturn.

A typical Melbourne commute during heavy rain and cold weather Picture: David Crosling

While Sydney is Australia’s biggest city, the internal migration data suggested that it’s “the least popular”, according to the analysis, which said that the number of existing residents relocating away from Sydney had reached an all-time record high.

Another factor was that while both Sydney and Melbourne gained “a whopping 77,000 people from overseas migration”, many of those new residents didn’t buy property for years, if at all.

Overseas Migration — Y/E June 2018 — Source: Propertyology

“Yes, we all need to live somewhere, but there’s no law that says one has to buy the roof over their head,” he said. “Buyer behaviour is determined by where people want to live, what they can afford to buy, lifestyle preferences, where they can get suitable employment, and individual stages of their life.

“Other factors include local confidence, buyer incentives, and the pursuit of financial independence.”

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