Regional South Australian markets achieved the highest growth in regional migration during the first quarter of the year.
Commonwealth Bank and the Regional Australia Institute (RAI)’s latest report showed a 16.6% growth in the number of people moving to regional areas over the March quarter, reaching a new five-year high and almost doubling pre-pandemic levels.
Commonwealth Bank executive general manager for regional and agribusiness banking Paul Fowler said regional areas are providing attractive local employment opportunities.
“Regional Australia is thriving, fuelled by strong investment across a broad range of industries including agriculture, manufacturing, retail and hospitality,” Mr Fowler said.
This was apparent in three South Australian markets: Ceduna, Mount Gambier, and Port Augusta, which are the top three local government areas (LGAs) with the biggest growth rates in migration over the 12 months to March 2022.
Ceduna recorded the biggest jump at 114%, followed by Mount Gambier (85%) and Port Augusta (74%).
“Mount Gambier is perfectly positioned between Adelaide and Melbourne with wonderful amenities and work opportunities in a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, civil construction and wholesale retail,” Mr Fowler said.
Dwelling prices in regional South Australia are the lowest among other regional markets.
According to CoreLogic’s Home Value Index for May 2022, the median dwelling price in regional South Australia was at $330,229, reflecting a 21.1% annual growth.
Young Aussies driving growth
The study showed that millennials accounted for the highest proportion of regional movers, making up 76% of movers to Port Augusta, 70% of movers to Mount Gambier and 66% of movers to Ceduna.
The average age of movers to these markets are 29 years old for Port Augusta and Mount Gambier and 31 years old for Ceduna.
RAI Chief Executive Officer Liz Ritchie said millennials are great additions to any regional community, as they can contribute their business skills and bring families to integrate into the school system and community sporting activities.
“Regional living is attracting more young people and particularly younger families who are looking for bigger living spaces at a cheaper cost,” she said.
Queensland areas also a top spot
Two LGAs in Queensland trailed behind the South Australian market in terms of migration growth.
Western Downs and Moorabool registered a 56% increase in interstate migration during the year to March 2022 quarter.
While millennials comprise the biggest share of people moving to Moorabool, it also attracted a relatively high proportion of Gen-Xers at 24%.
Meanwhile, Western Downs attracted a relatively large share of Gen Alpha and Z, comprising 19%, as well as Baby Boomers, who made up 12% of total movers.
The average age of those who moved from capital cities to these markets are 35 years old for Moorabool and 30 years old for Western Downs.
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