The white paper published by REA Group on regional Australia’s housing and population has stated that, in the 12 months to March 2021, Queensland reported a net internal migration (the net total of people moving in and out of the state) of 30,785 people.
The figure was more than double the state’s annual average from 2010 to 2020.
The paper, which is the latest PropTrack Regional Australia Report, comparatively noted that NSW and Victoria recorded respective net internal losses of 17,796 and 18,191 over this same period.
Regional Queensland reported the highest influx of any capital city or regional area, reporting a net internal migration figure of 16,316 in the 12 months to March 2021, while Greater Brisbane experienced an increase of 14,469 new residents.
But despite NSW and Victoria’s overall net losses over this period, their regional areas saw increases – with regional Victoria reporting an increase of 13,975 and regional NSW seeing 13,436.
Both Sydney and Melbourne however reported losses of 31,232 and 32,166 respectively over this period.
This urban exodus was reflected in the wider populations of all of Australia’s capital cities, with the report noting that last year saw a net figure of 43,000 residents leave capital cities in favour of regional areas – a figure considered to be the largest net influx to regional Australia since the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) records began in 2001.
“In the March quarter of this year, data from the ABS showed capital cities recorded a net loss of 11,800 people, more than double the decade average and the largest quarterly loss on record and this was prior to the arrival of the delta variant,” the report added.
It speculated that, due to continued lockdowns and remote working, this trend is likely to have continued over the rest of 2021.
The report also pointed to an influx into regional areas, with an increase in “high-intent buyer demand”. For example, interest in NSW’ Mid North Coast, saw a year-on-year growth of 145.7 per cent – the highest in the country.
However, out of the 10 regions with the strongest demand, it was Queensland’s Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast that topped the list, followed by Victoria’s Geelong in third and NSW’ Newcastle and Lake Macquarie in fourth.
Hand in hand with increased interest and demand are rising house prices in regional Australia, with the report stating that housing values have increased by almost 30 per cent in the year to September – the fastest annual pace in at least 35 years.
“This outpaces the already strong growth in metro areas, representing a particularly exceptional period for Australia’s housing market, driven by low interest rates and a shift to regional areas with limited housing inventory,” it reflected.
The results have shared similarities with additional reports noting a growing appeal towards Queensland-based property.
One study published by ME Bank last week noted that, of Australia’s “top 20 best places to invest”, the first and second were situated in the Sunshine State.
Furthermore, the eighth Annual Property Investor Sentiment Survey of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) group, which was published earlier this year in September, reported that 58 per cent of the 786 property investors surveyed felt that Queensland offered the best property prospects.