The Sunshine State is now the most sought-after location for investors and interstate buyers.

All eyes are now on Queensland's housing market as it overtakes the New South Wales-Victoria duo amid the impacts of the pandemic, according to experts.

RiskWise Property Research CEO Doron Peleg said Queensland is benefitting from the population decline in Victoria, which is already affecting its rental markets.

Rental vacancies in inner Melbourne are as high as 6.6%, driven by the absence of international students and tourists.

"Investors in Melbourne should expect and be prepared for low rental yields at least for the coming year," Mr Peleg said.

Rents have also declined in Melbourne's inner-city region by as much as 11%.

"In Brisbane, the rental vacancy rates have continued to tighten to below 1.5%, while Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast both have exceptionally tight rental markets.”

Queensland top spot for investors, interstate buyers

Victoria lost most of its residents to Queensland during the first quarter of 2021, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

On the other hand, Queensland welcomed the highest number of interstate movers during the period.

A huge share of internal migrants was from New South Wales and Victoria.

BuyersBuyers co-founder Pete Wargent said there has been a marked shift towards southeast Queensland’s coastal and lifestyle locations.

"While state borders have not always been open, even by the end of March there was a significant swing in population away from Victoria," Mr Wargent said.

"Queensland has had relatively few restrictions over the past 18 months, and when the opportunity has presented itself, residents have headed for the Sunshine State."

Mr Wargent said South East Queensland (SEQ) in particular has booming conditions.

"The whole region from Noosa to the Tweed is booming, and our buyer’s agents are running at a very high capacity right now,” he said.

“The biggest challenge for buyers is sourcing stock, with properties selling exceptionally quickly.”

A recent survey by the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) showed that three in five investors think Queensland has the best investment prospects over the year.

PIPA chairperson Peter Koulizos said SEQ's main selling point was the billions of dollars of major infrastructure projects.

"All of these factors, as well as the affordability of property in Southeast Queensland and strong interstate migration, are some of the reasons why investors are so optimistic about market conditions there," Mr Koulizos said.

2032 Olympics a major driver

Brisbane's successful bid to host the 2032 Olympics had experts predicting median house prices in the city to triple, but it’s just one of the drivers that are expected to boost Queensland's property market.

In an analysis, Hotspotting managing director Terry Ryder said Brisbane was already one of Australia's rising markets even before the successful bid was announced.

"The rise in sales activity in Brisbane since late 2020 has been exponential,” Mr Ryder said.

“Markets right across the Greater Brisbane area were recording sales volumes not seen in more than a decade.”

Mr Ryder said the demand for homes in Brisbane has already caused a massive increase in median house prices, with the million-dollar suburbs already hitting 20% growth while suburbs in middle and outer-ring areas increasing 10% - 15%.

But Mr Ryder said the SEQ region was thriving even before the pandemic.

"The Gold Coast has been particularly targeted by big-city residents fed up with the long and repeated lockdowns,” he said.

"It has also been targeted by expat Aussies escaping coronavirus hotspots overseas and seeking real estate hotspots in Australia."

Meanwhile, the $20bn infrastructure boost on the Sunshine Coast has already attracted buyers and investors alike in the region.

"Just when its market appeared to be tapering after very strong price growth, the Olympics decision has come along to create a second wave of buyer interest," Mr Ryder said.

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