What will happen to Qld housing as the population explodes?

“The last time we had such high migration was probably in the 2000s when we had a period of very rapid population growth. It is mostly concentrated in the southeast corner of the state.

“Where a place loses is usually to Queensland’s net profit.”

Elin Charles-Edwards, UQ

“There are going to be obvious demographic pressures, but what’s missing are international migration flows which are increasingly important to Queensland, and they haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels.”

International students were returning to Queensland and the arrival of seasonal workers remained low, creating labor shortages.

But Ms. Charles-Edwards said fully reopening those waterways would trigger a period of significant population growth for the state.

However, many unknowns would remain in the housing market, she said.

“Maybe we will see a bit more push in places like Wide Bay and Burnett as people are pushed out of the housing market in places like the Sunshine Coast.

“I think Cairns would be the other place that would see changes related to international borders.

“Places like Cairns benefit from the reopening of international borders because they have always attracted this transient workforce.”

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said while the boom was positive for Queensland, the influx was creating huge demand in the housing market.

Antonia Mercorella, Executive Director of REIQ.Credit:Glenn Hunt – Fairfax Media

She said the main challenge for the government will be to ensure that housing and infrastructure are adequate for the population.

“Over the past two years we’ve had an incredibly tight rental market, and we’ve seen prices go up and that’s only going to get worse as we see more and more people from the highway moving here,” she said.

“Demand has continued to accelerate and there are no real signs that it is slowing down.

Ms Mercorella said the rental market could tighten further and people were offering more properties in a bid to secure a home.

“There is even an argument that they will increase, so because we have had flooding here, there will also be tenants and owner occupiers who will be displaced and that will probably add further pressure to the market.

Ms Mercorella said there would also be a wave of new international migration.

“More of these expats are likely to return home, along with new arrivals from other parts of the world, and Queensland is likely to benefit,” she said.

“We’ve seen a pretty significant shift towards regional communities.”

Ellice Serrano and her family recently moved from Sydney’s northern beaches to Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland after her husband developed chronic fatigue and ended up in hospital for three weeks.

“I ended up picking him up from the hospital the day before we went into labor with our third child,” Ms Serrano said.

“We actually bought a house in Maleny about six months ago, and it cost almost a million, which for a six-bedroom house is just brilliant compared to Sydney.

Ellice Serrano and her husband Marcos have moved with their three children, Chloe, Jimmy and Sophie, from Sydney's northern beaches to Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Ellice Serrano and her husband Marcos have moved with their three children, Chloe, Jimmy and Sophie, from Sydney’s northern beaches to Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

“We wanted to get a foot in the door before the housing market went up and up.”

The decision was based on providing a pleasant environment for their three children, aged 3, 6 and 8, Ms Serrano said, in addition to lifestyle, affordability and health.


“In Sydney, they come home from Kindy and say ‘Tel went to Fiji during the school holidays’ and ‘Tel went to Hawaii’.

“People really live on the edge of what they earn. There’s a lot of competition and keeping up with the Joneses.

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