©2024 Propertyology Pty Ltd

Complete this form and we'll be in touch


Where Did All These People Come From?

Where Did All These People Come From?
February 5, 2021 Propertyology Head of Research and REIA Hall of Famer, Simon Pressley

A net 133,905 existing Australian residents have relocated away from our eight capital cities to various parts of regional Australia over the 5-years ending September 2020. That’s enough people to fill a major city the size of Bendigo, Mackay, Ballarat or Darwin.

And the arrival of COVID-19 has accelerated the rate of this significant exodus.

Propertyology’s analysis of ABS’s latest population data confirms that the combined capital city population produced an internal migration net decline of 32,346 people in just 9-months to September 2020.

This is no fad! It is an enormous decision for a household to be prepared to move away from existing family and friends, to establish new networks, completely move town and then buy (or rent) new digs. No one makes those decisions lightly.

There has already been a big enough critical mass of people who have made this big, life-changing decision due primarily to how COVID-19 has affected them – either financially, emotionally, or both.

Big segments of society are reviewing their own priorities. People are replacing the legitimate risk of future lockdowns with lifestyle. They are choosing space over congestion, fresh air over fumes, and fun ahead of fear. This is core value stuff!

There will be some people nodding their head as they read this because they have already made the move. Others will be seriously contemplating doing it. As we said back in September, Australian real estate has forever changed!

There is also a growing number of everyday Aussies who have enjoyed superior rates of capital growth and rental returns than what capital cities have produced through investing in strategically chosen regional locations.

Here’s an example of Propertyology’s buyer’s agents work.


Over the 9-months ending September 2020, six out of eight capital cities produced a net population loss from internal migration.

Sydney and Melbourne collectively lost a net 40,000 residents in those 9-months.

Ordinarily, those two big cities each receive 70,000 to 80,000 (net) overseas migrants per year. It is now anyone’s guess if / when those days will return.

There are a few talking heads that naively claim that everyone is moving to Brisbane. Not true!

Brisbane’s net population gain of 8,278 is the highest capital city beneficiary but, as illustrated in the above graphic, this number is consistent with the last four years, wherein Brisbane’s change in property values has been rather underwhelming in comparison to various other parts of Australia.

The three biggest population beneficiaries from internal migration are regional Queensland, regional Victoria and regional New South Wales.

When comparing the 2020 calendar year data to previous years, the biggest improvers are regional Tasmania, regional Queensland, regional Victoria and Perth (although the 2,100 gain over the year ending September 2020 is still well down on Perth’s 8,500 gain in 2012).

Analysis of national job vacancy data confirms that the total volume of jobs advertised this month compared to February last year is 0.7 percent lower for the combined capital cities while the combined regions have seen a 65 percent increase.

Anecdotal evidence obtained from Propertyology’s buyer’s agents suggest that Queensland’s popularity includes Noosa, Gold Coast, Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Hervey Bay and Townsville.

In alphabetical order, other regional drawcards include Adelaide Hills, Albury, Ballarat, Ballina, Barossa, Bendigo, Burnie, Busselton, Byron, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Geelong, Kingscliff, Launceston, Mildura, Mount Gambier, Newcastle, Orange, Wagga, and Wollongong.

Propertyology are national buyer’s agents and Australia’s premier property market analyst. Every capital city and every non-capital city, Propertyology analyse fundamentals in every market, every day. We use this valuable research to help everyday Aussies to invest in strategically-chosen locations (literally) all over Australia. Like to know more? Contact us here.


We walk-the-walk. Here’s a recent example of our work for a client.