Aussie top 10: Qld regions tipped to benefit from lifestyle exodus

The national exodus to Queensland’s more affordable regions is tipped to continue this year, with some surprising new hot spots coming into the spotlight.

Four Queensland regions have been named in the top 10 Australian places predicted to be the biggest beneficiaries over the next six months – Toowoomba, Yeppoon, Townsville and the southern islands of Moreton Bay.

Elsewhere, South Australia has three regions in the national top 10 (Mount Gambier, Murray Bridge and Port Lincoln), Western Australia has two (Geraldton, Bunbury) and Victoria has just one, Mitchell Shire.

The regions were named in The Hotspotting Exodus to Lifestyle – National Top 10 report, which not only identifies the top affordable lifestyle locations with the best upside potential, but also the myriad reasons as to why an exodus has been under way for at least the past five years.

Report author and Hotspotting director Terry Ryder said the exodus to affordable lifestyle phenomenon began at least five years ago as large volumes of people left big expensive cities for smaller more affordable locations.

“This core population trend has been happening for many years,” he said.

“The official population data shows that Sydney has been losing population to other parts of

Australia for the past 10 years and Melbourne has been losing to internal migration for five to six years.

“While the Covid-19 lockdown period made all this more visible and gave it extra momentum, this trend certainly wasn’t caused by the pandemic.

“Fundamentally, this big migration of population has been caused by the pursuit of lifestyle and affordability, enabled by technology – the ability to work remotely.”

Mr Ryder said Australians have been relocating in big numbers, with the Sunshine State number one by a significant margin.

However, he said a misunderstanding of the affordable lifestyle trend had resulted in some commentators suggesting that people will move back to the big cities now the pandemic lockdowns appear to be over,

“There’s no statistical evidence that this is happening, and we certainly don’t expect it to happen,” Mr Ryder said.

“Apart from anything else, the notion that families who have decided to sell their homes, uproot their lives and relocate themselves and their kids to another part of Australia, will casually decide to do so again so soon is unrealistic.”

6 Senna Place, Kirwan, is listed for $380,000-$400,000

Mr Ryder said Australians continued to leave Sydney and Melbourne in droves, with the latest population data showing that Queensland was a huge beneficiary of population growth from internal migration, while West Australia and South Australia had also made good gains.

He added that the result for regional property markets had been “extraordinary”.

But he said the focus may now shift to new locations.

“Instead, I see people making a ‘hill change’ rather than a ‘sea change’, focusing on the same motivations such as affordability and lifestyle, but in more of a hinterland or country setting,” he said, adding that Queensland had many good options, including Toowoomba, Rockhampton, and the Sunshine Coast hinterland.



TOOWOOMBA – A massive program of infrastructure development is putting the regional city of Toowoomba on the national stage. The economy of the Toowoomba region is also the second largest in Queensland, outside of the state’s metropolitan areas. Adding to the city’s appeal is its attractive parks and gardens, its extensive health and education facilities, and its proximity to Brisbane. This combination of factors, along with the city’s affordability, low vacancies and solid yields, is attracting a variety of property buyers to the region, including first-home buyers, tree-changers, Baby Boomers, retirees and investors.

15 Router Street, Wilsonton, is listed for offers over $540,000

YEPPOON – The Yeppoon property market is demanding that the rest of the nation sit up and take notice, after it was identified in late 2020 as one of the top five locations nationally that people would like to move to. As a result, sales activity rose strongly in 2021 and strong buyer demand continued into 2022, with property values rising. Overseas buyers are also eyeing Yeppoon, with the region attracting the second highest number of overseas buyer searches in Queensland in 2022.

TOWNSVILLE – The Townsville market recovered in 2020 and rose strongly during 2021, helped by the diversity of the local economy and the level of infrastructure spending. There was exceptional price growth in many suburbs in 2021 and most continued to escalate throughout 2022. After some years in the doldrums, caused in part by the resources sector downturn, Townsville has shown clear signs of good growth in recent years.

The local economy and its property market are now thriving and this is set to continue into 2023 and beyond.

SOUTHERN MORETON BAY ISLANDS – The Southern Moreton Bay Islands enjoy remarkable scenery, varied wildlife and a relaxed coastal community atmosphere. With passenger ferries leaving the islands regularly seven days a week, major jobs nodes are all less than 60 minutes away. Most of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands have median house prices in the $300,000s and $400,000s, compared to the nearby mainland suburb of Redland Bay ($830,000) and the Greater Brisbane Area ($775,000). This affordability, together with the significant lifestyle appeal of the islands, has seen demand and sales activity rise in the last two years.

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