Less than 5 per cent of interstate migrants during the 2016-2017 financial year settled in Brisbane, according to data from the ABS. Photo: Glenn Hunt
Interstate migration to Queensland is booming but analysis shows most new residents are bypassing Brisbane for other regions in the Sunshine State.
Buyers’ agency Propertyology analysed ABS data, which showed there were 17,246 internal migrations to Queensland in 2016-17. But out of those, only 846 relocated to Brisbane, which equates to less than 5 per cent.
Propertyology managing director Simon Pressley said the lion’s share went to the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Cairns, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim.
Interstate migration to Queensland is strong but ABS figures reveal most of the new residents are relocating to regions outside of Brisbane, such as the Gold Coast.
“We’ve read a lot about interstate migration to Queensland lately and it’s been growing each year, which is great,” he said.
“The thing is, people automatically think Queensland means Brisbane but when you actually look closely at the numbers, they tell a very different story.”
As a proportion of total population growth over 2016-17, the biggest beneficiaries of interstate migration were Tasmania (22.5 per cent) and Queensland (21.9 per cent).
The Sunshine Coast has had an influx of interstate migrants. Photo: Mike Swaine
House prices in the regions with the most internal migrations have mainly increased — house prices on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts have increased by 7.9 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively over the past 12 months — although Mr Pressley said the correlation between population growth and house price growth was often overstated.
“I know logically it makes sense — if an area has a big surge in population, house prices should go up — but there’s much more to it than that,” he said.
“Jobs growth is a lot more important than population growth, so is wage growth, [and] affordability is also extremely important.”
Moreton Bay’s affordable property prices and relaxed bayside lifestyle are drawing new residents from interstate. Photo: Ray White Redcliffe
REIQ Gold Coast zone chair Andrew Henderson said each of those factors was connected and all had contributed to the Gold Coast’s house price success in recent years.
“Our local economy is strong but it’s also changed. We’re no longer solely reliant on the tourism industry. The diversity of our job offering has changed,” he said.
“With new infrastructure like universities and hospitals, we’ve got people moving here from interstate into jobs who would have never been able to move here 10, 20 years ago.
“So the age of the people we’ve got moving here has also changed. We’ve always had a lot of retirees but we’ve noticed a surge in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s – people moving their whole families up here. Around Mermaid Waters and Clear Island Waters there’s a really strong southern presence.”
Andrew Campbell of Ray White Redcliffe said the influx of interstate migrants buying up locally in the Moreton Bay region had become apparent more recently.
“We noticed a dip in the interstaters for a while but recently they’ve started to come back and it’s about affordability. All the properties around that median price are really moving so quickly,” he said.
Domain Group figures show the median house price in Moreton Bay is $456,000.
“There’s a lot of first-home buyers who fly up here for the weekend from Sydney. They know they can’t afford to buy there so they’re moving here because they see you can buy a house for under $500,000, get the lifestyle and still only have to drive 40 minutes to work in Brisbane,” Mr Campbell said.
But Mr Pressley said interstate migrants were being “pushed” to Queensland, rather “pulled” as they were during the mining boom.
“People have always wanted to come to Queensland because of the good lifestyle, weather and affordable housing,” he said.
“In the past they came for those things but also because we created more jobs year after year than everyone else. Now, we’re not dragging here through job growth, they’re coming here by default.
“To me, that’s why interstate migration hasn’t translated into property prices yet … and that’s why only minimal people have gone to Brisbane.
“I anticipate that in the next 12 months we’re going to see another really strong year of interstate migration into Queensland; if our economy improves, then it could translate to property prices for Brisbane and all over Queensland. Overall though, this is a good news story for Queensland and Brisbane as well. It’s looking positive.”