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Better lifestyle at half the cost – this is Australia’s most popular capital city to move to

As affordability and the cost of living becomes more expensive in Sydney, many families and investors are looking north to South East Queensland, where quality properties are available at often half the price of the southern markets of Sydney and Melbourne. According to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Brisbane is Australia’s most popular capital city to move to interstate.

Value-for-money investment

Speaking to realestate.com.au at the Australasian Real Estate Conference (AREC) this week, leading real estate specialist John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate said investors are moving to the Brisbane and South East Queensland (SEQ) property market because it is a ‘compelling’ market to invest in.

John McGrath, image courtesy McGrath Real Estate

“A lot of my clients that are not necessarily wanting to invest in Sydney or Melbourne I am still sending them north, I think this is still the place to be,” he said.

“I think the value for money is compelling, you can still buy properties here in some instances for a third or a quarter of the equivalent in Sydney.”

McGrath said his South East Queensland offices have reported an increase in investors to the region, stating that infrastructure projects had renewed interest in the market since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

McGrath also said that the significantly lower prices of Brisbane and SEQ property compared to Sydney and Melbourne prices often led investors to question whether this indicated some sort of problem with the northern market. But he was quick to dispel these concerns.

“There is no problem it is good value,’’ he said.

Better lifestyle at half the cost

The value proposition of Queensland property and the associated lifestyle has also been a strong drawcard for home owners and renters, with research showing a prominent trend towards interstate migration, particularly from NSW to Brisbane.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures reveal that Brisbane saw the highest internal migration net gain of all capital cities (10,149 people) last financial year, at a time when Sydney lost double that number (-23,176).

Pam and Steve Brossman are one couple who found themselves priced out of the Sydney market after selling their Mosman apartment in 2010. After renting an inferior property in Mosman – a highly desirable suburb – for a number of years, they made the decision to move to a six-bedroom waterfront mansion in Queensland, cutting their accommodation expenses in half.

“Every car [in our suburb] is a sports car, either a Porsche or a Lamborghini. It’s that kind of lifestyle – for half of what we were paying,” Ms Brossman told news.com.au.

“It wasn’t a matter of wanting to leave Sydney, but when we came up here and saw what we got for what we were paying, we just had to do it,” Ms Brossman said.

According to Ironfish National Housing Manager, Josh Ure, Brisbane and South East Queensland have an understandable appeal to those priced out of the Sydney market.

 “Given NSW has become the most unaffordable state in Australia , people are looking for an affordable alternative – somewhere with job opportunities, comprehensive infrastructure investment, and ultimately, somewhere that will offer people a great lifestyle that puts less strain on them financially. Brisbane and SEQ tick so many of these boxes, making this location highly appealing to both investors and families,” Mr Ure said. 

Young people were the largest group heading to Brisbane, according to the ABS, with the largest net migration gains in the 15-24-year-old category (4,200 people), followed by 25-44-year-olds (2,700 people).

Melbourne followed Brisbane with the next highest net internal migration gain of 8,300 people.