Back to Research Insights >> The Whales Are Getting In On The Action

Over the weekend the family and I took a trip up to Crackneck Lookout, just south of the Entrance in New South Wales. It’s an awesome spot for a picnic or a bushwalk if you’re looking for something to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

As we gazed out into the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, we spotted a couple of whales midway through their northern migration. Clearly they were, like many Sydneysiders, heading north on account of a Sydney property market that by any measure (should’ve) hit its peak 18 months ago.

Like the whales, Sydneysiders migrate north in distinct patterns. Over the past two decades, migration from New South Wales to Queensland increased at a higher rate on the tail end of a Sydney property market growth phase. In addition, our research indicates that Sydney housing growth has a ripple effect on Brisbane’s housing market, with the data suggesting an outperformance of Brisbane’s property market over the medium term.  Migration is driven by two key factors:

  1. Affordability: Brisbane house prices are half those in Sydney
  2. Lower cost of living: Proportion of income a Brisbane household spends on mortgage payments is half that of a Sydney household

With Sydney reaching a cycle peak, we’re expecting the move north to accelerate over the next couple of years as it did after Sydney’s last boom in 2004.

The Numbers

In the 2015/2016 financial year Brisbane recorded the highest internal migration of any city, with a gain of 10,149 people. Brisbane’s largest intake of internal migrants came from Sydney, with a total of 9,900, while Sydney lost a total of 23,176 over the same period. Looking further ahead, in the ten years to 2027 the population of Brisbane is forecast to increase at a higher rate than for any other capital city. Over the period, the average annual population growth rate of Brisbane is forecast to be 2.2% per annum. Forecasts indicate that the next best performing capital city is Melbourne at 1.85% per annum.

Now, I don’t want you to go away and use the migration patterns of whales for property selection. Although your innovation would admirable, I’d wager your results would be poor. As always, get educated, establish a professional support network and take action.


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