Regional population growth data was released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the 12 months to June 2017 recently.  The data provides a lot of detail about population trends; perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of data is the small area migration information.  In this blog, we look at arrivals and departures both internally (ie interstate and intrastate moves) and overseas across the SA2 regions of the country.

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The above table shows the 25 SA2 regions across the country that recorded the greatest number of internal arrivals over the year.  The list is quite mixed and is clearly dominated by outer regions of Melbourne where there is significant new housing supply.    A number of outer regions of Sydney, Perth and south-east Queensland have also made the list.  While generally it is outer areas of cities on the list, there are a handful of inner city markets also, which highlights the impact of increased unit construction as inner city precincts densify.  

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Taking a look at the top 25 regions where residents are departing to other parts of the country also makes for quite interesting reading.  While the list of regions for internal arrivals was largely dominated by outer regions of large population centres, a high proportion of the regions listed here are inner-city markets.  Sydney and Melbourne specifically are quite prominent on the list highlighting that an increasing number of residents of these cities are now looking to move elsewhere.  This is supported by broader quarterly demographic data, particularly for NSW, with it showing an increase in interstate departures with Qld the favourite destination.

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The above table shows the top 25 SA2 regions for overseas arrivals over the most recent year.  The list includes almost exclusively either inner city locations or areas that are close to major universities.  This highlights the fact that education is a major export and is contributing to stronger demand for housing in those regions close to universities and/or in inner-city locations.  Also note that Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast is not adjacent to a university (although Bond University is located further south on the Gold Coast) and it is also the only region listed that isn’t in either Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth. 

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The above table details the 25 SA2 regions of the country that have recorded the greatest number of overseas departures.  Interestingly, 23 of the regions listed were also included in the table for top regions for overseas arrivals.  The two regions that weren’t listed on the previous table were: Adelaide and South Yarra-East.  Although 23 of these regions appear on the two lists, for each of those 23 regions the number of overseas arrivals over the past year was greater than the number of departures.  This seems to suggest that both a share of the overseas arrivals that come to Australia to study leave as well as the fact that the more recent overseas arrivals are largely choosing to settle in the same places as other overseas arrivals.

Looking across the four tables shown, it is interesting to note that three SA2 regions appeared within each.  These regions were: Melbourne, Perth City and Waterloo-Beaconsfield.  This would seem to suggest that whether locals or overseas arrivals move in or out of these regions there are others that are very willing to move in.  

Overall the data highlights that residents are showing a preference for shifting to either the outskirts of major capital cities where new housing is being built at lower prices, or inner city areas where new higher density properties are being built.  Residents are moving away inner-city locations, particularly those in Sydney and Melbourne.  Foreign arrivals are largely choosing to move to inner-city locations and those close to universities which highlights the reason for overseas arrivals to Australia.  A large number of overseas departures are also occurring in these regions however, arrivals are outweighing departures.