By Herron Todd White
September 2019

First, a bit of a history lesson with help from the ABS’s Net Interstate Migration (NIM) statistics.

Brisbane and its surrounds have traditionally seen property price movements sync to the number of interstate residents looking to make our little piece of Australia their new home.

A great example was in the early 2000s. During hot price growth runs throughout 2002 and 2003, we became a very cool destination for a number of impressive industries. Driven by a rise in mining activity, our city was the go-to capital for major operators who could set up head offices within an easy FIFO-style commute of their new operations.

This period also saw other big-time businesses set up in Queensland. For example, Virgin Australia’s operations were a major boon for the political forces in south-east Queensland around this period.

All this meant there were jobs for new Queenslanders willing to don the maroon jersey come State Of Origin or pledge allegiance to support the Lions in winning a fourth straight premiership.

During this period, we were enjoying NIM figures of around 37,000 people per year.

Come price growth around 2007 and things were a little less convincing. Certainly, the mining boom was still in full swing but underlying employment opportunities for those who followed were a little tighter. Yes, property prices rose, but in a less convincing fashion and NIM was tracking at around 22,000 persons per year.

Post the financial horrors of the 2008 GFC, along with the natural disaster that was the 2011 flood event, Brisbane took a hit. Many of the financial and support service industry jobs were now Sydney or Melbourne centric. Our NIM figures from 2009 to 2015 ranged between 5,000 and 10,000 persons each year… and property prices were floundering a bit.

This long-winded lesson on the past is all to say, things are now on the up.

The NIM has been steadily rising from 15,000 in 2016 to just under 24,000 in 2018. The next lot of results in 2019 are expected to be even higher.

What we hope this time around is that those out of towners attracted to the region by affordability and lifestyle benefits, will be supported by jobs growth and infrastructure projects. While there are certainly a number of exciting projects on the books in terms of infrastructure, a pick up in employment would go a long way to building economic confidence.

What was noticed throughout 2017 and 2018 was the number of new residents coming from New South Wales and Victoria to Brisbane and then choosing to shift away to the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Many of these across-the-border migrants were cashed up after selling their properties during the southern price boom and could now choose to buy a home near the beach for an excellent price.

A rise in the ability of professionals to work remotely has also played its part. Those white-collar workers and business owners who simply need access to a decent internet connection, and perhaps airport facilities for quick interstate trips, to service their clients were on a high. This demographic could choose a location based on lifestyle rather than employment opportunities.

This tide of new residents heading coastward is turning somewhat as more choose to stay in Brisbane and enjoy its growing cosmopolitan lifestyle attractions.

Of late, we’ve experienced some strengthening in the upper price sector from these new residents. The price point for ultra-prestige homes in Brisbane is a long way under those in Sydney, so the price of our very best housing is a temptation many can’t refuse.

Of late, however, has been a more broad-based appeal for Brisbane housing. Many of those Sydney and Melbourne residents who just can’t stand the costs associated with living in these population hot spots are joining us in the north. Best of all, they are pocketing a little extra equity after selling their modest homes (or, alternatively, saving on rent) and coming to Queensland.

So, what’s the upside?

Well… it looks good for Brisbane. While we continue to have a quietly confident outlook for our city, with steady growth that will provide excellent long-term results for property owners, we also expect our NIM numbers to continue rising. Couple that with more work opportunities and a (hopefully) overall strengthening state economy, and it’d be fair to say that those who purchase in 2019 will look back in ten years and thank their stars they acted.

Speak with a Brisbane Mortgage Broker today.