Property

Australia’s population growth – where is it happening?

Michael Yardney /

Australia’s population hit a milestone – 24 million people in February this year – 17 years earlier than official predictions made at the turn of the century.

We added the latest million people in record time.

And now our population is projected to increases by 378,476 people over the year (or 1,037 people daily) to reach 24, 546,779 by the beginning of 2017.

This will be by a combination of 164,103 more births than deaths (natural increase) and an increase of around 214, 373 due to migration.

Population growth

Source: Pete Wargent

Population dynamics

According to the ABS, we’re having:

  • one birth every 1 minute and 46 seconds;
  • one death every 3 minutes and 27 seconds;
  • a net gain of one international migration every 2 minutes and 39 seconds; leading to
  • an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 32 seconds.

Where are they all going? 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports the following breakdown of population growth of 317,000 people in the year to September 2015:

Capital Cities: 263,000 (83%)

  • Melbourne: 91,600 (29%)
  • Sydney: 83,300 (26%)
  • Brisbane: 35,200 (11%)
  • Perth: 31,100 (10%)
  • Adelaide: 12,100 (4%)
  • Canberra: 5,400 (2%)
  • Darwin: 2,600 (1%)
  • Hobart: 1,700 (1%)

Regional Australia: 54,000 (17%)

  • Gold Coast/Tweed: 10,800 (3%)
  • Sunshine Coast: 4,870 (2%)
  • Newcastle: 3,960 (1%)
  • Wollongong: 3,330 (1%)
  • Geelong: 3,240 (1%)
  • Central Coast NSW: 2,200 (1%)

The bottom line

Economic growth leads to job growth, which leads to population growth, which leads to rising demand for properties (both rental and owner occupier) and this eventually leads to property price growth.

That’s why I spend a lot of time researching and writing about the economy.

The figures above clearly show that Melbourne and Sydney lead the pack, with more than half of Australia’s population growth occurring in our two big capital cities.

They also confirm why I continue to recommend avoiding investing in regional Australia or in short-term hotspots.

For example, recently there have been a number of people recommending investing in Hobart because it is had a short period of price growth (up 4.8% over the last year.)

In reality Hobart is only playing catch up with Hobart’s capital growth not kept up with inflation since the end of the last property cycle.

While Hobart is a lovely place to live, with a total increase in Hobart’s population of 1,700 people over the last year, that’s hardly the stuff that makes property prices grow.

It’s much the same in most regional locations of Australia.

For mine, as a property investor I’d only be investing where there are multiple property growth drivers, two of which are sustained economic growth and long term population growth.

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.

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Michael Yardney

Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia's leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.

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