Gold Coast Skyline Luggage
Victorians eager for a change of scenery on the Gold Coast. Image – Canva
  • Victorians relocating to Queensland amidst lockdowns
  • Melbourne rental vacancies low and prices high
  • Property market booming across QLD coast

As residents of Melbourne currently endure their sixth lockdown, figures show many Victorians are choosing to up and leave, chasing sunnier times in the Sunshine State.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Victoria’s population declined significantly by 42,900 over a year ending in March, the only state to see a decrease.

Queensland on the other hand, has experienced the greatest influx of new residents of any state, with a population increase of 43,900.

Annual Population Change, March 2021

Annual Population Change March 2021 - ABS
Source: ABS

Co-founder of BuyersBuyers Peter Wargent said there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Victorians relocating to the South-East of Queensland, in pursuit of coastal and lifestyle locations.

“While state borders have not always been open, even by the end of March there was a significant swing in population away from Victoria, reversing the internal migration trends towards Victoria prevailing in recent years.

Queensland has had relatively few restrictions over the past 18 months and when the opportunity has presented itself, residents have headed for the Sunshine State,” Mr Wargent said.

Queensland: rental market booms with vacancies low

According to Doron Peleg, CEO of RiskWise Property Research, the Greater Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast areas have undergone considerable growth in recent months.

“We can see the impacts directly in the respective rental markets of the two states. In Brisbane, the rental vacancy rates has continued to tighten to below one and a half per cent, while Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast both have exceptionally tight rental markets.”

Doron Peleg, CEO RiskWise

In contrast, rental vacancy rates in Melbourne are much higher as some rental properties struggle to find tenants.

Melbourne rental vacancy rates 2021
Inner Melbourne rental vacancy rates. Source: RiskWise, CoreLogic

“The high vacancy rates in inner Melbourne have been exacerbated by the absence of international students and tourists,” Mr Peleg continued.

Melbourne: rental prices suffering

Mr Peleg noted that rental prices in Melbourne were declining as a result of these high vacancy rates.

“Investors in Melbourne should expect and be prepared for low rental yields at least for the coming year,” he added.

Declining rents in Melbourne
Rental prices in Melbourne are on the decline. Source: RiskWise, CoreLogic

Property prices on the rise in both states

Despite many Melburnians waving goodbye to their state, Victoria may still be the ‘place to be’ as property prices continue to rise.

Mr Wargent said the total number of property listings across Victoria and Queensland are low, resulting in prices being propelled.

“Even in Melbourne, where the housing market is almost in an induced coma at the moment due to restrictions on open homes, we’re still seeing some exceptionally strong results, and we expect that to continue in a renewed wave when restrictions are finally lifted,” he said.

He added that the coast between Noosa and Tweed is flourishing, and buyers looking to purchase in this area must get in quick due to exceptionally fast sale times.

“Demand is roaring up and down the entire coastal strip,” he concluded.

Buyers seeking to take advantage of the current market conditions are encouraged by Mr Wargent to buy properties pre-market or off-market, if possible.

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