Gold Coast house prices are booming as Aussies flee population boom in Sydney and Melbourne

House prices are booming on the Gold Coast as Aussies flee the larger capital cities in search of a warmer climate and to escape traffic congestion. 

An influx of overseas immigrants into Sydney and Melbourne is coinciding with a rush to south-east Queensland.

Brisbane was Australia’s best-performing capital city market in August with the median house price last month climbing by 1.6 per cent, and by 4.3 per cent over three months to $832,247, CoreLogic data showed.

The Gold Coast, a one-hour drive from Brisbane, did even better with Palm Beach’s median house price surging by 8.6 per cent during the quarter to $1,623,836.

At nearby Currumbin Waters, house prices rose by 6.7 per cent over three months to $1,555,746 while at Bundall, a canal suburb next to Surfers Paradise, they increased by 8.2 per cent to $1,794,891.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said Australians were still flocking to the Gold Coast from other parts of the country.

Strong internal migration into these areas is likely to be a key factor supporting housing demand and housing values in these areas,’ he said.

The surging house price data comes after incoming Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock delivered a speech warning areas of the Gold Coast were more likely to suffer property price falls of five to 10 per cent by 2050 because of climate change.

She delivered a Tuesday night speech in Canberra with a slide showing a map of Australia with red dots over areas at greater risk of floods or cyclones.

The Gold Coast was coloured tomato red, suggesting bigger house price falls, while most of coastal New South Wales was coloured pink, forecasting property price falls of two to five per cent.

House prices in these areas of the NSW north coast are going backwards, despite professionals being able to  work from home.

Byron Bay house prices have fallen by 4.8 per cent to $2,398,235 during the past three months, while at West Ballina they dropped by 6.7 per cent to $885,283.

Regional markets were taking longer to recover from the Reserve Bank’s 12 interest rate rises since May 2022, as overseas immigration hit record levels.

With internal migration trends normalising across regional Australia, and less demand side pressures from net overseas migration than in capital cities, regional markets generally aren’t seeing the same level of recovery,’ Mr Lawless said.

Before the Covid pandemic in 2020, regional areas housed just 15 per cent of overseas migrants.

Sydney generally receives a bigger share of permanent and long-term overseas migrants, with the city’s median house price rising by 1.1 per cent to $1,359,936 in August, and by 4.1 per cent over three months.

‘Sydney has led the recovery trend to date,’ Mr Lawless said.

The Reserve Bank’s most aggressive pace of monetary policy tightening since 1989 had affected Sydney more than any other market, because it is by far the most expensive.

This caused prices to fall by 13.8 per cent from the peak in early 2022 until early 2023, but an influx of skilled migrants and international students has underpinned a recovery. 

A record 353,670 migrants moved to Australia in 2022-23, the most for a financial year, and since bottoming out in January, greater Sydney property prices have soared by 8.8 per cent – rising for the seven straight months.

Inner-city areas outperformed the rest of the city with Surry Hills house prices surging by 8.1 per cent over three months to $2,219,334.

Before the surge in overseas migration, Brisbane in the 2021-22 financial year saw its population grow by 2.3 per cent to 2,628,083 with new residents moving from other parts of the country, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.

By comparison, Sydney’s population grew by just 0.7 per cent to 5,297,089, with the official data covering the months before Australia reopened to migrants in December 2021.

With Australia reopened again, property investors are particularly attracted to Queensland where new loans in July rose by 6.8 per cent to $1.9billion, making it the only state with a sustained increase since February. 

House prices rise in every capital city as interest rates stay on hold

SYDNEY: Up 1.1 per cent to $1,359,936

MELBOURNE: Up 0.6 per cent to $925,374

BRISBANE: Up 1.6 per cent to $832,247

ADELAIDE: Up 1.1 per cent to $733,501

PERTH: Up 0.9 per cent to $634,169

HOBART: Up 0.2 per cent to $700,629

DARWIN: Up 0.1 per cent to $585,014

CANBERRA: Up 0.4 per cent to $953,166

Source: CoreLogic median house price data for August 2023 

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