‘Relocation’ data revealed

‘Relocation’ data revealed

Recent data from the Commonwealth Bank and Regional Australia Institute Regional Movers Index revealed population movement to regional areas eased in the June quarter.

A Commonwealth Bank media release stated millennials continued to make up the largest proportion of people relocating from capital cities to regional areas.

However, the latest quarterly Regional Movers Index revealed the overall number of those relocating from metropolitan areas declined 16.5% compared to the previous quarter.

According to the index, Mount Gambier experienced a 90% increase in regional movement over the year.

Young Professional Group coordinator Belinda Anderson (pictured) said the numbers of the group continued to rise and an impressive 40 people attended the regular social get-together last month.

“A mixture of faces, people who have lived in the region their whole life and never attended, new faces who have just moved here and people attending after a couple of years of absence,” she said.

“In amongst the new attendees, the feedback given was they were really impressed with the event, but also Mount Gambier and the region and what it has on offer.”

Figures for the June quarter revealed regional people had recommenced migration back to capital cities as new migration to regional areas dropped 35% since the last quarter.

“I wonder if some people had the dream to go regional, but ultimately when things start to return to normal, people can travel overseas and spend money elsewhere, people resume to old habits and go back to where their heart and home might truly be,” Ms Anderson said.

“In this case, capital cities for some.”

However, net migration remains 30.2% higher compared to two years before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Anderson said due to the reduced level of skilled migrant immigration over the last couple of years, it appeared there were more job vacancies in the regions.

“There are more jobs right across the country and people can move for this, not just to regional areas,” she said.

“Demographers and economists are thinking the millennial migration to the regions are being partly driven by larger job opportunities and cheaper housing.

“Even though there are reports of reduced migration to the regions, overall it remains stronger than years before the pandemic.”

Regional Australia Institute chief executive Liz Ritchie said the recent easing of movement to the regions should take the pressure off housing demand and provide breathing space for regions to plan for the future.

“We know people are happier when they choose a life in the regions, but investment in creating a sustainable model for Regional Australia to accommodate the changing nature of our populations trends is needed,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Now is the time for a new National Population Plan at the Federal level, that considers future settlement patterns to ensure regional communities have the services and infrastructure they need to help them grow.”

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