The Times Australia

The Times

Holidays & Travel

Sunshine Coast: A Sea Change for Life.

If you are feeling like a sea change, statistics say it’s probably to the Sunshine Coast.

The "Great Sunshine Coast Migration" in Queensland, has gained incredible momentum in recent years, notably after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted work and lifestyle preferences across the globe. What’s interesting is that there is still a steady stream of newcomers arriving to call the Sunshine Coast home, despite the pressure on housing and infrastructure that would normally turn people away.

According to the most recent Regional Movers Index, the majority of people leaving the cities settled in Queensland, particularly on the Sunshine Coast.

In 2020-21, Queensland, including the Sunshine Coast, saw a significant increase in interstate migration, marking one of the highest levels in two decades. This period coincided with the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions, making the Sunshine Coast an even more attractive relocation option due to its lifestyle, natural beauty, and relatively lower cost of living compared to Australia's major metropolitan areas.

The Benefits of Migration

Multiple factors are driving the trend of people exiting the cities and migrating to the Sunshine Coast, creating a melting pot of different cultures and expectations. 

The ability to work remotely and the desire for a more relaxed lifestyle have significantly fueled the Sunshine Coast migration trend. However, the region has been experiencing steady growth for some time, with notable increases in population each year, both before and well after the pandemic.

The Queensland Government Statistician’s Office highlights the Sunshine Coast among the regions with the fastest average annual growth rates in Queensland over the ten years leading up to June 2022. This is consistent with the region's reputation as a desirable location, supported by its lifestyle, amenities, and relative affordability compared to major metropolitan areas​ 

The increase in migration has not only changed the demographic landscape but also boosted local economies and real estate markets. As more people move in, there's a higher demand for all types of residential properties, driving up investment and development. So far the Sunshine Coast has shown an ability to maintain a balance between development and preserving the natural environment, which continues to attract people seeking a better quality of life away from city centres.
Impact on Local Life

The influx of new residents can strain local infrastructure but also invigorate the community with new energy and opportunities. If managed and anticipated well the overall impact is a boost to community facilities and opportunities.

Migration Effect on Housing

The Sunshine Coast has seen significant growth in property values due to high demand and limited supply, making it popular for both primary residences and investment properties. This can be great in some situations but can cause stress in others, particularly for renters, young professionals, and those not yet established in the local market. If you're looking to navigate this competitive housing market, securing the right financing is essential. Connecting with a reliable mortgage broker can help you understand your options and find the best path to homeownership on the Sunshine Coast.

  • Housing Market Pressure: The increased demand for housing leads to high property prices and rent, making it challenging for new residents to find affordable housing. This situation can be particularly tough for renters, young professionals, and others who do not have the financial flexibility to compete in an overheated market.
  • Cost of Living Increase: As demand outstrips supply, the cost of living on the Sunshine Coast has increased. Newcomers might face higher prices not only in housing but also in daily expenses like groceries, utilities, and local services. This can make settling in more difficult, especially for those who haven't secured employment in the area.

Looking forward, the region is forecasted to increase by over 500,000 people by 2041, solidifying its evolution from a quiet coastal region to a bustling community. This diverse population requires careful planning and the development of more than 217,230 dwellings to make it a home for many more people to enjoy. 

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