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Lifestyle lure and remote work behind interstate migration to Queensland

By Andrew Bell

Demand for homes in Queensland is sky-high.

So many Australians with remote employment opportunities moved interstate to Queensland during the pandemic that home prices here continue to soar, for both existing and new construction. The cost of a rental unit is also rising — a win for property owners and landlords but perhaps prohibitively expensive for longtime locals.

Housing prices are ticking up in many regional areas and smaller cities throughout the country, of course. Growth in rents has been strong with vacancy rates low. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, housing prices climbed by more than 10% nationally in the first half of the year. Meanwhile, advertised unit rent costs are 8% below pre-pandemic levels in Melbourne and 2% under in Sydney.

Understanding the demographic trends can help you navigate the housing market.

Blowing out of the Big Smoke
A look at net migration reveals the difference between arrivals and departures. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Queensland netted a gain of 25,300 people via interstate migration in 2019-20, roughly 7% of all total domestic migration. This is 11,000 more residents than its 10-year-average domestic migration.

So where did they come from? The ABS noted that New South Wales lost 20,900 people, a 10-year high and far ahead of the next-closest losing state, the Northern Territory at 2,700 residents lost. Sydney was among all greater capital cities bleeding residents in the quarter of September 2020. Greater capital cities saw a net loss of 11,200 through internal migration. Melbourne and its surrounding areas lost a total of 26,000 people, the highest net loss on record.

The allure of the Gold Coast is just too strong for those young families crammed into, say, a flat in chilly Melbourne, or professionals who can work remotely and wish to live a more outdoor lifestyle.

Prices on the rise
Home prices are up all across Queensland, and it continues to make headlines. According to ABC News, the Gold Coast has seen 12-month increases up to 10.5% while the Sunshine Coast boasts a rise of 11.2%.

The ABS reports that the cost of a house or rental unit in Brisbane was up 12.5% year over year as of June 2021.

In 2019, the typical Brisbane house rented for $400 per week while a typical unit cost $380 per week. By June 21, the average house rent jumped to $450 a week and the unit to $400.

All the demand has led to more new construction. Numbers from the government's HomeBuilder program are a nod to the number of new builds and renovations in Queensland, with 21,871 applications for relief on new builds and 4,422 applications for renovations on existing properties.

At Ray White Surfers Paradise, we have been tracking these trends for years, using our insight to assist both first-time and repeat buyers, always with the goal of setting them up for long-term success. Our years of experience give us a natural advantage; we remember the strong market here in the 1990s. Whether you are already in Queensland or moving interstate, get in touch with us today and let us help you start your homebuying journey.

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