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Affordability pushing people from capitals to rural pastures, latest data finds

By Eliot Hastie
11 May 2018 | 10 minute read
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New CoreLogic Property Pulse data shows that interstate migration is on the move as people depart from cities and head to regional areas.

CoreLogic Property Pulse analyst Cameron Kusher has analysed the latest statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and found that people are leaving the cities but are staying in their original state.

“Overall, a significant number of those people that move away from a capital city over the past financial year moved to an area adjacent to the capital city,” Mr Kusher said.

Mr Kusher added that there are many reasons why people leave the city, but there are generally a few common denominators.

“There are multiple reasons why we’re seeing more people move to new locations; however, it’s generally for more affordable housing or because they’re looking for a sea change/tree change,” the analyst said.

For Sydney residents, six of the top 10 regions to move to were still in NSW, with the most popular being adjacent destinations like Newcastle/Lake Macquarie and Illawarra.

The top locations for Melbourne residents were also adjacent areas to Melbourne like Latrobe-Gippsland and Geelong.

Up in Queensland, most residents moving from Brisbane tended to remain in the southern regions of the state, with the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba being most popular.


Mr Kusher said that data from Perth, while consistent with the trends from other states, was still surprising.

“It’s a little surprising that the top destinations for departing residents of Perth are within Western Australia and not interstate,” Mr Kusher said.

In Tasmania, the south-east saw more than double the number of Hobart migrants than Launceston and the north-east, which was in second place.

The Northern Territory was the one state to buck the trend, with most of its migrants heading to other states.

“When Darwin residents move away from the city, the greatest share of them move to other parts of the Territory outside of the capital city. QLD is a popular destination from Darwin residents moving away, with five of the top 10 regions listed within the state,” the analyst said.

Migrants from Canberra also left the state. However, Mr Kusher acknowledged this was due to their not being an option to change townships.

“Residents of Canberra that leave don’t have the option to move elsewhere within the territory. However, a substantial number of them move to the capital region located adjacent in NSW,” Mr Kusher said.

Interestingly, there was only one region which saw migrants from every single capital city, and that was the Gold Coast in Queensland.

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