Cities with affordable housing draw interstate migration

Borrowers are flocking further afield as challenges remain for first home buyers in central Sydney

Cities with affordable housing draw interstate migration

Thousands of people are transferring cities as they seek more affordable housing, according to the latest interstate migration figures released by national property market researcher Propertyology.

“The Great Australian Dream is alive and well and the latest data proves that people are prepared to uproot and move to make that dream a reality,” Propertyology head of research Simon Pressley said in a statement. He projects that the mass migration will last for many years as more and more Australians seek affordability.  

Cities with biggest gains
Propertyology revealed that areas near Sydney with the biggest gains from interstate migration were Camden (5,531), The Hills Shire (2,044), and Liverpool (1,068). Pressley attributes the Sydney area’s strong population growth to overseas migration; however, new local residents prefer more affordable city regions.

Areas near Melbourne with the biggest gains were Casey (6,051), Wyndham (5,255), and Melton (3,844).  These places are outer-suburbs with affordable houses that families can readily move into, according to Pressley.

Suburbs with the biggest gains in the Brisbane area were Moreton Bay (5,110), Ipswich (3,223), and Redland (1,237). Pressley said Queensland was experiencing an interstate migration boom with “more than 17,000 new residents in one year alone”.

Suburbs near Perth with the biggest gains from interstate migration were Wanneroo (1,402), Serpentine-Jarrahdale (1,311), and Armadale (1,227). Perth used to be one of the country’s most expensive cities, but the “soft property market has improved housing affordability” — a factor many interstate migrants consider.

What happens now to first home buyers?
Pressley told MPA that “since the arrival of the First Fleet, Australia has always been a large [draw for] migrants”. In 2016 and 2017, out of 245,000 overseas migrants, 165,000 settled in Sydney and Melbourne. Most of them rent for several years.  

“Sydney’s lack of housing affordability has always been a challenge for first home buyers. Regardless of whatever rantings from any politician or industry body, that will always be the case,” Pressley said.

In a general sense, Pressley sees migration as something good for Australia’s economic growth because it will bring in new skills, innovations, and cultural diversity. 

Migration is a voluntary act that people choose to do, with lifestyle change, employment opportunities, and housing affordability as common considerations. “It’s a positive endorsement for those communities which attract internal migration,” Pressley said. 

Apart from that, Pressley sees that the circulation and redistribution of migrants looking to buy a home create opportunities for brokers.