Australia’s capital cities attracted three times as many new residents as the rest of Australia as at June 2013 according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

ABS Director of Demography Denise Carlton said that two in three (66%) Australians now live in a capital city, but that this was projected to increase to 72% by 2053.

Perth and Darwin are currently the fastest-growing capital cities, Carlton said.

“Between 2012 and 2013, Perth grew fastest (3.5%), followed by Darwin (3%), Melbourne (2.2%) and Brisbane (2.1%).”

Carlton added that, if the current growth trends continue, Melbourne is projected to overtake Sydney to become Australia’s biggest capital city by 2053.

While these trends indicate that purchasing capital city property is generally a good bet, the ABS data also provides more detailed suburb information which should be of use to investors.

In Victoria, four of the five fastest-growing areas were inner-city areas. These were:


  1. Melbourne
  2. Abbotsford
  3. Docklands
  4. Southbank
Meanwhile, in NSW, the 10 areas with the largest population increases were all in the Greater Sydney area. The top five were:


  1. Parklea - Kellyville Ridge   
  2. Parramatta - Rosehill          
  3. Concord West - North Strathfield 
  4. Homebush Bay - Silverwater           
  5. Kensington - Kingsford      
In WA, the outer suburban areas of Greater Perth recorded the largest population growth in WA. These areas were:


  1. Baldivis
  2. Ellenbrook
  3. Forrestdale - Harrisdale - Piara Waters
  4. Butler - Merriwa - Ridgewood
  5. Perth City
In the NT, the Greater Darwin area was home to the top five areas with the largest population increases. They were: 


  1. Rosebery - Bellamack         
  2. Palmerston - South
  3. Lyons        
  4. Humpty Doo          
  5. Nightcliff  
Note of caution

While population growth is an indication of housing demand, it doesn’t necessarily translate to strong price growth when there is sufficient supply to meet it.

Property values rise when there is more demand than supply; therefore, you need to investigate the level of housing supply going into the area before you buy.

Developers tend to flock to high population growth area and overbuild. When this happens, even areas with booming population could see property price drop as in the case of Gold Coast in Queensland and Docklands in Melbourne.