Record numbers leaving capital cities

August 29, 2021 BY

Melbourne recorded a loss of 4800 people to the rest of Victoria, up from the 4200 in the previous quarter.

Australia’s capital cities recorded their largest net loss of people on record in the March quarter according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, with many relocating to other areas within the same state.

Capital cities had a net loss of 11,800 people from internal migration in the March 2021 quarter, surpassing the previous record of 11,200 posted in September 2020, according to the latest ABS data release.

Net loss is the term used to describe the scenario in which more people leave a city than arrive during a set period.

Brisbane gained the most people through net internal migration, up 3300, while Melbourne lost the most (8300) followed by Sydney (8200).

The figures indicate that a number of city dwellers have been moving to different locations within the same state during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend widely reported by regional real estate agents and population experts since the onset of the pandemic.

All up there were 66,300 departures, up from 66,000 the previous quarter, to non-capital city areas in the March quarter.

Melbourne recorded a loss of 4800 people to the rest of Victoria, up from the 4200 in the previous quarter.

The figures show that those in the 45-64 age bracket made up the largest net loss for both cities.

The 2021 Census conducted 10 August will shed more light on the precise patterns of regional migration, though results wouldn’t be available until 2022.

The data release coincides with several other metrics and reports that indicate an increasing appetite for city dwellers to make the move to the regions.

A new index from the Regional Australia Institute, mapping regional moves based on change of address details for Commonwealth Bank customers, found that the number of people moving from capital cities to the regions during the March 2021 quarter increased by seven per cent compared to the March 2020 quarter.

It also found that the flow of people from capital cities to the regions accounted for 6.3 per cent of all movers, up 0.7 points on the year prior, with the Gold Coast, Geelong, Newcastle and Wollongong among the locations seeing the biggest boost to population.

Property prices in regional areas have also been rising since the beginning of the pandemic, with CoreLogic reporting that the combined regional markets recorded price growth of 19.6 per cent in the year ending July 2021, compared to 15.1 per cent for the combined capitals.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Leah Calnan said that many of her regional members had been reporting an increase in demand for regional properties since the pandemic began.

“With each lockdown it appears to reengage the activity across regional Victoria,” she said.

“There’s been the higher transaction levels,” she said.

“The growth was certainly greater than metro Melbourne and it is certainly trending that we’ll see that in the next two quarters,” she added.



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