Net Overseas Migration to Queensland lower again – falls by over 50% from 2012-2013

The latest ABS statistics on population growth have been released, and they have a sorry story to tell for net overseas migration to Queensland.

The good news for Queensland and the eastern states of New South Wales and Victoria, is that they are continue to experience robust population growth. Qld 1.3%, NSW 1.4% and VIC 1.9% for the 12 months to March 2016.


On the surface this figure don’t look too bad. However as we can see in the below figures, it hides a disturbingly large drop in net overseas migration.


In 2014-2015, Net Overseas Migration to Queensland was 19,076. Compare this to  30,270 persons in 2013–14, and then to 39,984 recorded in 2012–13. So when compared to 2012-2013, we have seen a drop of over 50% in Net Overseas Migration to Queensland.

Net overseas migration (NOM) is the difference between the number of incoming travellers who stay in Australia for 12 months or more (NOM arrivals) and the number of outgoing travellers who leave Australia for 12 months or more (NOM departures).

Total NOM has also dropped for Australia as a whole, from 212,700 persons in 2013–14 to 168,183 in 2014-2015. Most disturbing though from Queensland’s perspective is the relative drop in % of migrants, with a drop from 14.2% of Australia’s Net Overseas Migration in 2013-2014 to only 11.3% in 2014-2015.

So what does this all mean for off-the-plan property in Brisbane?

What is really surprising with these figures is that in the 2014-2015 period, Brisbane experienced very strong apartment sales, with exceedingly high number of sales to foreign investors. What is apparent though is the the vast majority of these buyers are not seeking to migrate to Queensland, so they have not contributed to the Net Overseas Migration numbers.

There is no doubt that slowing NOM will have a negative impact on demand for new apartments. That is inevitable. How significant is difficult to say as we have some many other factors at work such as the recovering economy as it transitions from the resources boom and the rapidly improving affordability factor that favours Brisbane over Sydney and Melbourne – see our article on just how affordable Brisbane is becoming compared to the other states of Australia.

One thing is for sure however is that one only has to look at Victoria and the strong and ongoing growth in property in that state in recent years to see the positive impact strong Net Overseas Migration can have on property prices and the economy in general.


Overseas Migration 2013-2014

ABS Population Growth Statistics

Written: 30 September 2016

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