High property prices and cost-of-living pressures are driving Aussies to turn away from city living.
While COVID-19 lockdowns pushed many Aussies to the regions in search of more space, the trend has continued as the cost of living soars.
The Muval Index report revealed the lengths Australians were going to to achieve their home-owing dreams.
In the 2022 Index, national online removalist-booking platform Muval analysed the most up-to- date moving data to identify the latest internal migration trends, and surveyed hundreds of Australians about their moving intentions.
The Index revealed that the desire to live in a better home or location was the main reason for relocating.
It also found that the rising cost of living had overtaken COVID as a motivating factor to move, the search for affordable housing was prompting new waves of internal migration from capital cities into the regions and interstate, and that west was a popular direction to head post-pandemic.
Why we’re moving
A desire to live in a better home or location was the key reason Australians moved, with almost a third (30 per cent) of survey respondents indicating it was the main motivator.
Boomers were influencing moving trends, with 12 per cent saying they were looking to downsize to a home with less upkeep.
Downsizing was the most common motivation for moving for those who were not working (23 per cent), while seeking a better lifestyle was the reason 11 per cent wanted to move.
Relationships impacted on relocations, with 9 per cent either moving in or out because of love or a break-up, and almost one in five (19 per cent) interstate moves sparked by a relationship change.
Regions still rule
While most (61 per cent) Aussies moved locally, almost a quarter (24 per cent) relocated to a regional destination, with that figure rising to 33 per cent for couples with no children.
Muval data found there was an 80 per cent increase in regional moving enquiries over the past two years, which reached a peak during the June quarter in 2022.
The regions are a beacon for first home buyers going in search of affordable housing, with a large chunk (27 per cent) of regional movers’ people shifting from a rental property into a purchased home.
Most people move to a region to upgrade their home or area (26 per cent), to achieve a better lifestyle (18 per cent), to downsize (13 per cent) or reduce cost of living (11 per cent).
In fact, 51 per cent of those moving to a regional area said they could comfortably handle a doubling of mortgage interest rates over the next 12 months.
The new western hot spot
It may be the most isolated capital city in the world but Aussies are flocking to it like never before.
Perth experienced the highest positive net migration percentage trend of any capital city over the past two-and-a-half years, surging from 37 per cent in January 2020 to a high of 149 per cent in August 2022.
Perth also accounted for a fifth of inbound moving enquiries for capital cities in August 2022, and remained on an upward trajectory.