Why interstate migration is this year's property buzz word for Queensland

The city of Brisbane, taken from Mount Coot-tha. Brisbane, stock image, housing, property,
The city of Brisbane, taken from Mount Coot-tha. Brisbane, stock image, housing, property,
6Point and Propertyology Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology

6Point and Propertyology Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology

For nearly two years straight, net interstate migration to Queensland has been approaching pre-GFC levels - and it's getting the property sector excited.

"I think the reason why people are excited about it is because we've had a bit of a lull in our state," PRD Nationwide's Asti Mardiasmo said.

"There is something that's attracting people back. That's what the Queensland government has been working on and people are excited because those incentives are working."

Propertyology's Simon Pressley said interstate migration had been weak since the GFC.

"What we saw was a massive trough in Queensland, about 2000 [migrants] per quarter until about late 2015," he said. "Since December 2015, every single quarter there's been 3000 or more migrants and we haven't seen that since before the GFC.

"Seven consecutive quarters, and each quarter the number has gotten bigger, now it's 5000."

All those people need somewhere to live and while many end up renting, it can be a major shot in the arm for the local property industry.

But Dr Mardiasmo said while migration was one factor in Brisbane's growth, it was not the "silver bullet" which would bring Brisbane in line with southern capitals.

"You'd need to have a humungous increase to be able to replicate Sydney's growth," she said. "The fact we are getting more people will help the conditions, in terms of soaking up units being built.

"It will help maintain our level of growth, it keeps it going and there will be a little more growth than we would have seen but it won't be a massive jump the way Sydney jumped."

Population is more widely distributed in Queensland than in other states and Dr Mardiasmo said it lessened the impact of new residents.

"At the end of the day we have to remember that interstate migration is at the state level. It will be quite a bit but they won't all be going to Brisbane," she said. "What a lot of people don't understand is it's not just Brisbane and the Gold Coast, there's a lot more of the state."

Mr Pressley agreed. "Some people have been a bit blind to this, they've placed too much emphasis on the trend and they've neglected the fact that a lot of coastal cities are getting some of those migrants as well."

He pointed out far-north Cairns had a better rate of growth than Brisbane, because of a large uptick in jobs.

"If the jobs could improve that could be really good," Mr Pressley said. "That places direct pressure on the property market."

Property consultant Michael Matusik also said the impact will be minimal in the short term.

"It might be the buzzword but like most things in real estate it will be 'BS'," he said. "Yes, more might come from interstate to Queensland, but far fewer than in past years and its impact on the real estate market will be very muted. There's few new high-paying jobs in Queensland."

Mr Matusik said Brisbane's rate of growth slid backwards 0.5 per cent by the end of last year, despite migration picking up.

This story Why interstate migration is this year's property buzz word for Queensland first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.