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What rising interstate migration really means for Brisbane’s property market

With lots of talk around Queensland’s rising interstate migration driving a property upswing. We look at how influential this has been in past cycles.

One of the questions we’ve been asked is, ‘is it really enough to indicate improved market performance?’

Despite this only being one of the key fundamentals which drives the performance of the property market. Population growth really does indicate the strength of an economy, the availability of employment, the affordability of a market and the desirability of a market’s lifestyle offering.

Similar to property markets, population growth trends move in cycles. The figure below tracks Queensland’s annual net interstate migration (NIM) from 1980 to 2018.

In 2018, Queensland recorded net interstate migration of 23,796, the highest we’ve seen in 12 years. All projections suggest it will surpass this figure in 2019 and continue to work its way back toward a figure of 30,000.

In this study, we’ve assessed the correlation between strong NIM and Brisbane’s median house prices. In each case since 1980, whenever 30,000 has been breached we’ve seen it occur consecutively over a multiple year. In the table below, each period where NIM has been over 30,000 per annum it’s been highlighted in bold.

Period Compounding Annual Growth Rate
1980 – 1982 (3 years) 15.83% per annum
1983 – 1987 (5 years) 2.72% per annum
1988 – 1995 (8 years) 9.42 % per annum
1996 – 2001 (6 years) 3.19% per annum
2002 – 2005 (4 years) 11.78% per annum
2006 – 2018 (13 years) 3.54% per annum

Each time we’ve seen consecutive years of NIM over 30,000 we’ve seen an average annual growth rate of over 9%. In contrast, the years with more moderate NIM ranging from 5,000 to 26,000 annual growth has remained between 2 – 3%

The last time we experienced this was over 13 years ago. Queensland interstate migration continues to grow:

  • Affordability: Property prices relative to incomes
  • Employment: A significant infrastructure pipeline

Based on the data available, the answer is yes, the rising interstate migration is a cause for excitement and positivity in Brisbane.

This isn’t to say that all regions in Brisbane are great for investment. The property market landscape has drastically changed in the last 13 years as supply has increased. Understanding the supply and demand balance and imbalance in certain areas has become even more important. Selecting the right suburbs but also the right property type is critical in maximising your chance of achieving strong price growth.