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Sydneysiders are ditching the big smoke in favour of greener pastures

Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

An increasing number of Australians are ditching their city lifestyles, opting instead to live in regional areas both on the coast and inland.

Yes, the sea change, or tree change as it has become known, is gathering pace, particularly in southeast Queensland.

Nothing demonstrates this internal shift in Australia’s populace better than the two tables below from CoreLogic. They show the local government areas where net internal migration was the highest in the 2015/16 financial year, and where it declined the most.

Here are the top 25 regions where net internal migration was the highest, according to figures from the ABS:

Source: CoreLogic

The Gold Coast, at 6,428 residents, recorded the highest net inflow of any region. Who could blame them for doing so?

And here’s the bottom 25 regions where net migration was the lowest over the same period:

Source: CoreLogic

There’s a shift under way across the country, with existing residents of Sydney and Perth ditching their digs, seemingly heading for Queensland and Victoria.

That partially reflects economic conditions associated with the unwinding mining capital expenditure boom in the west, and lifestyle and affordability considerations in the east.

“Net internal migration to Regional New South Wales, Melbourne, Regional Victoria and Brisbane was the greatest it has been in at least 10 years,” says Cameron Kusher, research analyst at CoreLogic.

“Meanwhile, net internal migration to Sydney was the lowest since 2011-12 and it was the lowest in at least 10 years to Regional Queensland, Adelaide, Perth and Regional Western Australia.

On Sydney, Australia’s largest city and also its most expensive in terms of housing costs, Kusher says the city is shedding residents to other parts of the country due largely to the high cost of housing.

“Coastal, regional areas of New South Wales and Victoria along with Melbourne and Brisbane appear to be significant benefactors of the deteriorating housing affordability in Sydney as an increasing number of people leave the city for more affordable locations,” he says.

That has implications for a variety of areas, including house prices, employment growth and demand for government services.

You can read more on the CoreLogic Blog here.

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