September 2023 – Top regions for population migration

The regional migration trend continues

The Regional Movers Index report is updated quarterly and presents fresh analysis of movements between Australia’s regions and capital cities and vice versa. The trends in the report show that in recent decades more people have been moving from Australia’s capital cities to regions than in the opposite direction.

This regional movement was also seen during COVID when people wanted to escape the cities.  The trend continues to occur post-COVID  alsoin a quest to find more affordable housing and as people realise the lifestyle attractions of the regional centres.  The ability for many people to still work from home is also a key enabler of this trend.

As many investors understand, the influx of people (i.e. population growth) is one of the key macro factors to consider when investing in property.

The report contains an enormous amount of detail, tracking many different trends.  A summary of some of the key trends is contained below.

Australians on the move as cost of living pressures escalate

The Australian population is on the move, and in bigger numbers than before the pandemic. This is also the case for city dwellers making the tree change, with capital to regional migration currently tracking 11.7 per cent above the pre-COVID average.


Regional NSW is # 1 for city dwellers

Regional New South Wales proved most popular amongst city movers over the past year, accounting for 39 per cent of net capital outflows in the 12 months to September 2023 – up from 26 per cent in the previous 12-month period. Taking the mantle from the Sunshine State, regional Queensland now accounts for 33 per cent of net capital outflows, down from 37 per cent a year ago. While there was little change in flows to regional Victoria, with its share now standing at 21 per cent.


Top Five LGAs: largest net inflows from capitals

City dwellers making the move to the regions continue to flock in high numbers to LGAs in close proximity to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, with Lake Macquarie and the Gold Coast proving particularly popular over the last three months.


Top Five LGAs: largest net inflows from regions

Regional movers again gravitated to the Sunshine and Fraser Coasts, as well as Toowoomba, but this quarter Greater Geelong increased in popularity and Maitland made the ‘Top Five’ for the first time since late-2022.

More details:

Above graphics and analysis courtesy and copyright of Regional Australia.   For details of the full Regional Movers Index report visit the webiste here

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