Melbourne could win the contentious population war with archrival Sydney as migrants flock to Australia’s most livable city.
Victoria lured the largest ever-net inflows from interstate this year, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.
Victoria’s population grew 123,100 during the 12 months to 30 June while New South Wales rose 105,000.
Record inflows from both interstate and overseas thronged to Melbourne due to its affordability compared to Sydney and the availability of more full time jobs, Shane Garrett, Senior Economist, Housing Industry Association told Yahoo 7 Finance.
Since 2014, the garden state has played host to Australia’s fastest growing population, lifting a further 2.1% in the year to June 30 2016, trailed by NSW and Queensland, whose populations grew 1.4%.
“It’s a virtuous circle,” says Garrett, with Victoria’s population spike fuelling its enviable economic growth.
The state’s economy is booming with the labour market growing 2% annually experiencing a rise in full time jobs. This, too, is bucking the national trend, which has seen the ascension of part-time jobs, he added.
Melbourne’s lower house prices are also a huge pull factor.
“The cost of living in NSW is much higher than in Melbourne, especially rents. If people are hoping to buy a home, Melbourne is more reachable,” Garrett added.
In October, the median house price in NSW soared to AUD 845,000 compared to AUD 623,500 in Melbourne.
Australia’s population increased 11.4% reaching 24.1 million to June 2016, the ABS figures released last week also showed.
New South Wales is still the Australia’s most populous state with 7.7 million compared to Victoria’s 6 million.
Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania all recorded sclerotic population growth although the Australia Capital Territory bucked the trend among smaller states rising 1.3% this year.
WA, in particular, suffered a major bruising in the population growth stakes in recent years. During the height of the commodities boom, the state attracted overseas inflows of 66,000 per year.