Regional Australia becoming more popular


People moving to live and work in Australia naturally gravitate to the big cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, but research suggests regional parts of the country are becoming more popular.

One of the issues is that house prices in most capital cities are becoming beyond the reach of many, so a growing number of people living in Australia are deciding to ditch the inner city lifestyle for more laidback regional centres around the country.

Several factors have contributed to the rise in city dwellers moving to regional areas but it is affordability that is the main concern. With the median house price in Sydney close to the AUD$1 million mark and Melbourne not too far behind at A$730,000, people are choosing to move rather than increasing their mortgage.

Over the five years to June 2014, the latest available data shows that an average of almost 15,000 people net per annum left Australia’s capital cities for regional areas. Over this period, the largest outbound movement came from Sydney with average of 19,257 net per annum leaving.

Regional New South Wales experienced the largest inflow, gaining an average of 6,824 persons net per annum creating 70,000 jobs which has reduced unemployment from 7.1% to 6.5%.

Over the five year period, Perth and Brisbane were the only capital cities to record an internal migration gain which has largely been influenced  by professional services associated with mining construction.

A recent softening in labour market conditions, particularly in Greater Perth, is likely to have stemmed the inflow of internal migrants to these cities while at the same time constraining property market conditions. Alternatively, buoyed net overseas migration has more than offset the decline in internal migration to all capital cities.

By age, the attraction of capital cities due to tertiary education, employment opportunities and the “bright lights” has ensured strong growth of young adults in their late teens and twenties. On average, 13,000 people net per annum aged between 15 to 24 moved to one of Australia’s capital cities.

However for other age groups, particularly those aged 45 to 64 and retired people aged 65 plus, the outbound movement to regional locations has been extensive at 18,505 and 2,685 persons per annum respectively.


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