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Sydneysiders moving out



Sydneysiders are leaving in growing numbers and relocating to major regional centres within commuting distance or cutting ties with the big city altogether and moving to coastal seachange areas or regional treechange areas for a complete lifestyle make-over.

Others are swapping Sydney for another city such as Melbourne, Brisbane or the Gold Coast, as indicated in the latest internal migration statistics for the 2016 financial year (FY16) released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and analysed by independent property researchers, CoreLogic.

Sydney’s high property prices are no doubt contributing to this trend, with the city’s net internal migration numbers at their lowest since FY12. Conversely, migration to Regional NSW, Melbourne, Regional VIC and Brisbane is at its highest in at least 10 years.

The biggest net gains were in Regional NSW with 11,827 new residents, Brisbane 10,149, Regional VIC 8,429 and Melbourne 8,270. The biggest net loss was in Sydney with -23,176 people departing.

Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not seeing a mass exodus of people from Sydney. However, this data does indicate that the property boom has influenced some people to leave the big city.

The ABS figures look at the number of people moving within a state and across state lines. Of the top 25 regions for population gains, 13 were located outside capital cities; generally in seachange/treechange regions close by. Of the bottom 25 regions where population was lost, 17 were located within a capital city; generally close to the city centre where home values are highest.

Drilling down to the individual regions with the greatest population gains, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast were at the top of the list nationally and this is no surprise to me.

The Gold Coast gained 6,428 new residents over the year. This is very significant as it is the highest internal migration ever recorded by the ABS since they began this data series in FY2007. It’s the first time the Gold Coast has topped the list and compared to FY15, internal migration is up a massive 39%.

Next is the Sunshine Coast, which also recorded very high migration with 6,200 new residents.

Coupled with the highest internal migration to Brisbane in at least a decade, it’s clear that South East Queensland is Australia’s hot spot for internal migration right now.

I think the South East Queensland property market will be the country’s strongest performer over the next three years with many investors, seachangers and treechangers taking advantage of the vast price gap between Sydney, Melbourne and the Sunshine State.

South East Queensland offers a fantastic lifestyle, great weather and comparatively very affordable housing. The latest stats from CoreLogic show the median house price in the Brisbane-Gold Coast region is $555,000 compared to $755,000 in Melbourne and $1.050 million in Sydney. The median apartment price is $400,000 compared to $542,800 in Melbourne and $750,000 in Sydney.

In NSW, I think regional areas close to Sydney such as Wollongong, the Central Coast and Newcastle are well positioned for strong growth in property prices. It’s typical to see many Sydneysiders moving to these areas at the end of a boom. They keep their Sydney-based jobs but enjoy much greater affordability.

But I also think we’ll see more Sydneysiders making a complete seachange/treechange in the future due to the following trends.

  1. More retiree buyers. Post-GFC, many would-be retirees remained in work to re-build their nest eggs. This delayed their seachange/treechange and created a backlog of demand. We should see more retiree buyers in lifestyle markets in the short to medium term, not only due to the backlog but also given thousands of baby boomers are reaching retirement age every year.
  2. Decentralisation due to technology. Technology and more flexible working arrangements are allowing more people to work from home permanently or part time, where they go to the office just a couple of days per week. This is the way of the future and will likely lead to somewhat of a decentralisation of part of the workforce to better lifestyle locations.
  3. Affordability. This has become a bigger issue in Sydney than ever before. In years gone by, baby boomers and Gen Xers tended to stay in Sydney and battle the big mortgage. The desire was to buy a house and work hard to pay it off. But I think the more nimble Gen Y will be less accepting of this financial lifestyle. I think we’ll see more young singles, couples and families relocating to Melbourne in particular, where there’s plenty of jobs, a similar big city lifestyle but more affordable housing. We’re already seeing statistics to this effect.

Here are the top 25 and bottom 25 regions for internal migration nationally in FY16.



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Market Place

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million



Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million
Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million

Home in blue-chip street sells for $4.1 million


The canal-front home at 59 Witta Circle, Noosa Heads, sold on April 30 for $4.1 million through Tom Offerman Real Estate.


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Market Place

Queensland’s population hits 5 million people today



Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: Is this Queensland’s 5 millionth person? Cordy Kerr-Kennedy was born yesterday in Townsville. (ABC News: Mark Jeffery)

Queensland’s population has tipped the 5 million mark today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told State Parliament.

Ms Palaszczuk said several expectant families were on standby to welcome the state’s five-millionth resident.

“Somewhere today a brand new mum and dad will be eager to meet their new arrival,” she told the house.

“The whole family will want to know: is it a boy or is it a girl? And the doctor will say, ‘congratulations, it’s a Queenslander’.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the two main drivers of the increase were migration growth, particularly from New South Wales, and from 60,000 babies being born in the past year.

Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
 The state’s five-millionth resident was born today.(ABC North Queensland: Nathalie Fernbach)

“Overseas and interstate migration is up by 50,000 people in the past year, 19,000 came from interstate … more than 12,000, or 230 a week, move from New South Wales to Queensland,” she said.

ABS data also revealed the fastest and largest-growing area in Queensland in 2016-17 was Pimpama on the Gold Coast, which grew by 3,000 people.

Large growth also occurred in Jimboomba on Brisbane’s south side and in North Lakes — a suburb north of the city — which both increased by 2,100 people.

Coomera on the Gold Coast and Springfield Lakes in Ipswich also experienced large growth up 1,400 people.

The State Government’s population counter gives a “synthetic estimate” of the number of current Queenslanders, assuming a total population increase of one person every 6 minutes and 22 seconds.

Earlier this year the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Queensland’s population was growing at 1.7 per cent and was projected to tick over to 5 million in May.

ABS data released in March also revealed Brisbane was one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and had increased by 48,000 in 2017, hitting 2.4 million people.

 Queensland's population hits 5 million people today
PHOTO: The ABS estimated Queensland’s population was growing 1.7 per cent a year. (AAP: Dan Peled)

ABS demography director Anthony Grubb said the state’s population had “come a long way” in the last century.

“In 1901 the population was half a million; a tenth of what it is today… it took 37 years to hit the 1 million milestone in 1938 and another 36 years to reach 2 million in 1974,” he said.

But Mr Grubb said population growth “picked up the pace” after that, taking just 18 years to reach 3 million then only another 14 years to hit 4 million in 2006.

Queensland could be leading growth state in future

Population demographer Dr Elin Charles-Edwards said although Queensland is not currently the fastest growing state, it is possible it could top the leader board later down the track.

‘Not in the short-term, but Queensland is coming up off a relatively subdued growth so perhaps we might be entering an era of more rapid growth,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said the challenges that generally come with increased population could be managed in Queensland.

“As long as we keep up and don’t take our eye off the ball we can continue to absorb quite high levels of growth… but really it’s keeping up with the infrastructure that’s the key challenge,” she said.

Dr Charles-Edwards said it was important to note some parts of the state, particularly in western Queensland, were experiencing population decline.

“While the south-east corner is growing and also many Indigenous communities are growing, other parts of the state are shrinking,” she said.

“Perhaps we could do more to encourage people to move outside the south-east corner.

“If we were able to work out some way to decentralise our population, growth a little bit further up into the northern regional centres, I think that would benefit the growth of south-east Queensland.”


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Market Place

APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth



APRA to end cap on property investor loan growth

APRA is removing the 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on investor loan growth.
Photo: Louise Kennerley

The banking regulator is axing a 10 per cent speed limit on bank lending to property investors, saying the cap has served its purpose and improved credit standards.

With Sydney house prices falling and credit growth slowing, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on Thursday said it would remove the cap for bank boards that could prove they had been following its guidelines on prudent lending.

In late 2014, amid a surge in borrowing by property investors and rapid house price growth, APRA took the rare step of setting a 10 per cent limit on the annual growth in banks’ housing investor loan portfolios.

The measure has rocked the mortgage market in recent years, prompting banks to jack up interest rates for housing investors, and demand borrowers stump up bigger deposits.

But on Thursday, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said it was prepared to remove the measure because there had been an improvement in lending standards and a slowdown in credit growth.

“The temporary benchmark on investor loan growth has served its purpose. Lending growth has moderated, standards have been lifted and oversight has improved,” Mr Byres

Even so, the regulator will retain a separate 2017 policy that requires banks to limit their new interest-only lending to less than 30 per cent of all new home loan approvals.

APRA also said there was “more to do” in improving other aspects of banks’ lending, including how they assessed borrowers’ expenses, their existing debts, and the approval of loans that fell outside of banks’ formal lending policies.

APRA said it expected banks to introduce limits on the proportion of new lending that could be done at “very high” debt-to-income levels.

“In the current environment, APRA supervisors will continue to closely monitor any changes in lending standards,” Mr Byres said.

“The benchmark on interest-only lending will also continue to apply. APRA will consider the need for further changes to its approach as conditions evolve, in consultation with the other members of the Council of Financial Regulators.”


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