New data released by the Australian Government is showing that inner-city Australians are looking for warmer states with bigger backyards. Victoria’s migration rate during 2019-2020 dropped for the first time in almost a decade while Queensland’s migration rate rose significantly. Queensland growth centres identified in the study included the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.

The Australian Government claims that this population migration is temporary and that most of the population movement was caused by COVID-19 but consumer attitude studies are showing different stories. One of the proclaimed reasons for population movement in a qualitative study done to delve into the data deeper was the lack of motivation to return to an office or CBD.

Nine out of ten workers who typically worked in an office building expressed interest in making their work from home arrangements either permanent or semi-permanent and the result is that inner-city high-rise development defaults have risen over the past 12 months.

Many developers (even those who were not leveraged all that high) have been throwing in the towel to recoup losses from a combination of commercial and high-rise residential developments. This is further being pressured by a severe Australia-wide shortage of internal building supplies.

Many specialists and general commercial hardware wholesalers and retailers have shifted focus away from those metropolitan areas and started focussing on how they can grow the regional side of the business (40% of Australia’s population are located within regional or provincial zoned areas).

The data is further supported by housing price growth when metropolitan housing price growth is compared with regional, provincial, and coastal housing price growth. Making it obvious that warmers states such as Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia are the current states of choice for home movers.