It’s been a tumultuous year for Australia’s property market.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused economic uncertainty, yet a surge in demand and skyrocketing prices for properties in certain locations.
While international borders remain closed, the shape of the nation within Australia is changing at a fast pace never seen before in our market.
Regional Australia continues to boom as record numbers of Aussies move from capital cities to smaller towns and communities to escape lockdown for a better lifestyle and in search of new jobs.
It’s also younger people — millennials and their families — who are making the move to regions, often made possible by working from home conditions in what would traditionally be city-based roles, a new report from removalist search engine company Muval shows.
But it’s not just regional areas that are seeing the shift
The report also shows that inner-city areas in our major cities are still in great demand.
“Since government restrictions began in March 2020, there have been over one million searches for ‘moving house’ COVID related questions.
In turn, the home removals industry is challenged to keep up with demand,” according to James Morrell, CEO of Muval.
According to the company’s removalist inquiries, Southport, West End, and Newstead are the top three hottest suburbs in Queensland for people moving within and to them from other locations.
For NSW and ACT, Surry Hills, Belconnen, and Paramatta are the most desirable suburbs for movers.
Meanwhile, in Victoria, South Yarra, Brunswick and Richmond make the top of the list.
And lastly, in Western Australia, the data shows that movers prefer Scarborough, Rockingham, and Baldivis.
A survey of 1,000 adults in Australia’s capital cities by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) found that one in five residents are considering a move to the regions and more than two-thirds of those considering the move would make the leap in the next 12 months.
In the year ending 30 June 2021, Muval found that Melbourne continued to bounce back from its mass exodus during the prolonged lockdown.
Negative migration went as low as -29% compared to its peak in August 2020 (-61%).
But Victoria’s restrictions have continued to drive residents away, with the most recent lockdown sparking a resurgence of people looking to leave as negative net migration rose again to -46 per cent.
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The report also revealed there had been more than 100,000 online searches for “can I move during a lockdown?” since the snap Melbourne lockdown restrictions were enforced in late May.
Brisbane, however, ended the financial year with the highest level of growth in net migration at 96% and the highest percentage of inbound searches out of all cities across Australia at 25%.
Over in NSW, the data shows a continued departure of residents from Sydney in search of better house prices and lifestyles elsewhere.
In the year ending 30 June 2021, there was -35% migration to the city highlighting more people moving out than moving in.
Tasmania’s housing crisis is reflected in the data too with nearly three times the number of people enquiring on Muval about moving to Hobart versus moving out.
Surprisingly, the total number of Tasmanian inquiries now supersedes those of people looking to move to Adelaide.
The latest Census data showed Australians are moving house more often than ever before.
“We are more transient than ever before.
Migration within Australia was already high pre March 2020 and the pandemic has ignited exponential growth,” Muval CEO Morrell says.
Research by RAI also shows movers are being drawn to the benefits of regional living versus escaping city life.
The data shows that the top three reasons for moving to regional Australia are:
- A sense of space (77%),
- Connecting with the natural environment (77%)
- Overall improved wellbeing (75%).
Whilst the benefits to regional living was the driving force, the top three things driving people out of cities are:
- Avoiding traffic congestion (70%)
- Reducing general stress and anxiety (69%)
- Reducing the cost of living (68%).
The May 2021 national survey looked into what prompts people to move house more broadly across Australia, not just to regional areas, and found that nearly half (46%) of Aussies would move house for a change of scenery.
Women are more likely to move house for a change of scene than men (49% vs 44%) and by age, 81% of 65+-year-olds would relocate for a change of scene compared to 42% of 18-24-year-olds.
Interestingly, Territorians are the most open to moving for a change of scene (56%) compared to Victorians (46%), NSW residents (45%), Queenslanders (49%), South Australians (48%).