Updated Budget figures show 57,300 residents have left New South Wales for another state since the first half of 2020 and some 71,900 Australians overall have moved to the Sunshine State.
In the main population centre Sydney, median house prices stand at $1.41million, putting them beyond the reach of even above-average income earners and forcing many to live a long way from the city centre.
In Brisbane, a mid-priced house costs $828,175, CoreLogic data for February showed.
Dr Tony Matthews, a Brisbane-based senior lecturer in urban planning from Griffith University, said his home city offered a much better life than the long commutes in Sydney.
‘It’s people living in very modest houses in Sydney getting much better deals in Brisbane for the same price and getting better weather for free,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Thousands of residents have fled Sydney (pictured is an overcrowded city train at peak hour) since the start of the pandemic with the exodus expected to continue for years to come as more people flock to Queensland. Updated Budget figures show 57,300 have left New South Wales since the first half of 2020
‘If you find yourself living way out in western Sydney, because that’s where you can afford to live and then needing to work in the CBD and commuting for an hour and a half or two hours each way every day, that’s extremely bad for your health.’
During the past two years, some 35,600 people also left Victoria for good.
The exodus from NSW, and Sydney in particular, is forecast to get worse with 30,200 more people set to leave in the upcoming 2022-23 financial year followed by another 20,000 in 2023-24, 20,200 in 2024-25 and 20,200 in 2025-26.
By comparison, Queensland is expected to see 30,000 more people arrive in 2022-23, followed by another 19,200 in 2023-24, 19,400 in 2024-25 and 19,600 in 2025-26.
Australia’s net annual overseas immigration rate – arrivals minus departures – was forecast to climb from 41,000 in 2021-22 to 180,000 in 2022-23, 213,000 in 2023-24 and 235,000 in 2024-25.
Dr Matthews said the influx of migrants to Sydney and Melbourne again was likely to encourage more long-term residents leave Australia’s biggest cities for Brisbane, the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast.
During the past two years, 35,600 people moved out of Victoria as 71,900 moved to Queensland (pictured is Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast), with the figures covering the 2020-21 and 2021-22 financial years
By comparison, Queensland was expected to see 30,000 more people arrive in 2022-23
‘We’re going to get a lot of people who are established in Sydney and Melbourne moving out of Sydney and Melbourne to places like Queensland and then we’re going to get a lot of new, international migrants coming in to those cities,’ he said.
‘So you’ll get something of a replacement effect, it’s not like for like but it’s person to person to some degree.’
The ability of more senior people to permanently work from home has seen them use that opportunity to relocate for lifestyle reasons, with the pandemic accelerating the long-term phenomenon of people leaving Sydney and Melbourne for southern Queensland.
‘Right now, what’s happening is not new,’ Dr Matthews said.
‘It’s just at a slightly accelerated volume and it’s being noticed more commonly.’