Australia reopened its international border in February for the first time in nearly two years, enabling emotional family reunions and tourism boost - and even our property market has benefitted.
Perhaps most interestingly rental properties saw the most dramatic surge - by an enormous 71% in June.
By comparison, searches on the ‘for sale’ section rose just 7% during the same month.
What this suggests is that more longer-term visitors are considering moving to Australia, most likely migrant workers and students, Karen Dellow, PropTrack senior data analyst and report author comments.
And this would make sense given recent arrivals data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows a sharp increase in foreign students and permanent skilled workers arriving since late 2021.
Queensland property has experienced a surge in demand over the past couple of years as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many Australians to re-evaluate what they want in a home.
We’ve seen an influx of migrants into the sunshine state as Sydneysiders and Melbournians (in particular) move north in search of warmer weather, looser COVID-19 restrictions, cheaper property prices, and lifestyle suburbs.
And this trend, it seems, isn't just confined to internal migration - according to PropTrack and realestate.com.au search data, Queensland sits at the top of the ranking of the most searched regions for overseas buyers.
The Gold Coast takes first place as the most desired Australian region from overseas buyers, followed by Greater Brisbane, showing that the lure of our northern state is still strong among foreign property seekers looking for homes to buy.
And the data shows that the rent is exactly the same for rental searches also, although the most popular ports of entry are still Melbourne and Sydney - meaning overseas migrants too are looking to migrate north once they enter Australia.
- Gold Coast
- Greater Brisbane
- Melbourne CBD
- Perth CBD and inner suburbs
However, the data also changes depending on where these overseas migrants are located.
For example, those in Hong Kong and China are most interested in Box Hill and Glen Waverley in Victoria - which are suburbs with high southeast Asian populations.
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Similarly, those in India have high search volumes concentrated in development suburbs - such as Tarneit and Point Cook in Victoria, and The Ponds in NSW - suggesting they are looking for house and land estates, Dellow explains.
Meanwhile, those in New Zealand have mostly been looking in areas where there is a high concentration of New Zealand residents - such as the Gold Coast, Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast.
Year-on-year buy searches have increased from China, the UK, and India, but have declined from the US, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Despite seeing a drop-off in buy searches in recent months, all countries have seen an increase in rental searches in the past month, the data shows.
In China, Hong Kong, and India the increase in rental search volumes is dramatic, at 431%, 100.4%, and 196.7% respectively.
And that makes sense given China, India, and Hong Kong provide Australia with a significant number of students and skilled migrant workers, who often become permanent residents or citizens.
The recently released data from the 2021 Census shows that migrants from India and China make up the highest percentage of the overseas-born population, after those from England.
Over the past 10 years, the number of Indian-born residents has increased by 111% and Chinese-born residents by 54%.
And the total number of Australian residents born overseas has increased by 25% in the past decade, whereas those born in Australia have only increased by half that (12%).
And although the Australian-born population is much higher, it does show that our country continues to attract people from overseas, despite the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down migration over the past few years.
The impact COVID-19 had on overseas migration, and subsequently, population growth has been immense.
All cities recorded a sharp drop in their population with only the country’s birth rate holding up the numbers.
But now the international borders have reopened and migration has resumed, we can expect population numbers to jump, and quickly.
And this data on search volumes shows the wheels are already in motion for an uptick in overseas arrivals.