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The latest population figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that Queensland is the most popular destination among interstate movers, with the state recording a net interstate migration gain of 24,000 people in the year to 31 March 2018. This represents an increase of 24 per cent on the figure recorded at the end of March 2017.
This is the first time in four years that Queensland has dethroned Victoria, which is now the second most popular state among relocators, recording a net migration gain of 15,100 people. This marks a rise of 15.1 per cent over the year.
Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory saw slight increases in net interstate migration, recorded at 2.2 per cent and 0.5 of a percentage point, respectively.
ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said that the most common move was from New South Wales to Queensland, with 52,000 moving up the east coast in the year to 31 March 2018.
The second most common move was made from the opposite direction, with 36,900 people moving from Queensland to New South Wales over the same year.
States that saw declines in net interstate migration included New South Wales (-20.5 per cent), Western Australia (-12 per cent), South Australia (-5.7 per cent) and the Northern Territory (-3.6 per cent).
Australia’s overall population grew by 380,700 people, reaching 24.9 million in the year ending in March 2018.
Net overseas migration accounted for 62 per cent, or 236,800 people, of the nation’s total population growth, while natural increase contributed 143,900 additional people.
Earlier this year, the Housing Industry Association suggested in a report that if the nation’s population continues to increase at the current rate of 1.6 per cent per year, and household income remains relatively stagnant, an average of 215,123 homes would need to be built every year until 2050 to reach a balance between supply and demand. This is compared to the “record” 233,544 dwellings built in 2016.
While it has been suggested that the property market could plummet by up to 40 per cent due to a combination of rising interest rates, subdued income growth, household indebtedness and changes in government policy, CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless noted that, on balance, mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been since the 1960s, and claimed that population growth and a strong labour market would continue to support demand for housing.
“Overall, it’s hard to see a scenario where Australian housing values could fall off a cliff,” Mr Lawless said.
“For this to happen, we would need to see a material about-face in labour market conditions, a global shock or a material rise in interest rates — none of which seems to be a likely outcome at the moment.”