The city exodus continues two years after lockdowns

Stephanie Gardiner |


* Movement from the capital cities to the regions is 11 per cent higher than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic

* People moving in the other direction, from the regions to the cities, made up nine per cent of all relocations

* The rate of tree and sea changes is steady, though it shows no signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels


* The most attractive areas for people moving from the capitals in the year to September were Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Fraser Coast, along with Greater Geelong and Moorabool in Victoria.

* The areas with the greatest growth were Waroona and Greater Geraldton in WA, Snowy Valleys in NSW, Golden Plains in Victoria and Douglas in far north Queensland.

* Sydney is losing the most residents to the regions of all the capital cities, followed by Melbourne

* Regional NSW took in the most tree changers, ahead of Queensland, Victoria and WA

* Both regional and city movers found Brisbane and Perth the most appealing capitals


* There were 91,400 jobs advertised in country areas in September, a major pull factor for people making the move, according to the Regional Australia Institute

* “As cost of living pressures escalate, the latest data shows city dwellers are continuing to flock to the regions at a higher rate than those moving in the opposite direction.”

Source: The September quarter Regional Movers Index, a collaboration between the Commonwealth Bank and the Regional Australia Institute