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Housing pressure builds as new wave of southerners eyes a move to the Coast

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New data has revealed the next huge wave of people from the southern states who want to call the Sunshine Coast home.

A Property Council of Australia’s survey of 220,000 Sydney and Melbourne residents showed 37 percent, or about 81,400 people, were considering moving to the Coast in the next five years.

Housing experts have weighed in on what this would mean for an already squeezed local property and rental market.

It comes as the State Government announced it would stage a Queensland Housing Summit in October to address the urgency around multiple housing issues.

As part of this, an initial roundtable took place on Friday with key government and non-government stakeholders.

The Property Council’s recent survey found one in 20 people were considering a move to Queensland.

From that, almost 64 per cent had actively discussed moving, 50 per cent had investigated housing options and 40 per cent had looked into the cost of living elsewhere.

Property Council Queensland Executive Director Jen Williams said while lifestyle and climate were the highest motivators for a move — both 76 per cent — the relative affordability of housing was also a major driver.

With the state set to see continued strong population growth and demand for housing, the survey also asked residents of South-East Queensland for their views on housing affordability and availability.

It also asked for Queenslanders’ sentiment regarding population growth and interstate migration.

“Seventy-five per cent of respondents are concerned about housing affordability and 63 per cent are extremely or moderately concerned about housing availability,” Ms Williams said.

“Only one-third (37 per cent) are concerned about the level of interstate migration.

“These numbers show that Queenslanders are not opposed to growth, but they are worried that housing affordability and availability is getting worse.

“Queensland is at a precipice when it comes to housing. Bold decisions must be made right now,” she said.

The release of the research coincides with the Property Council’s publication of a position paper, A Home for Every Queenslander, which sets out a range of tangible actions the Queensland Government could take to address the current housing shortage.

While the paper focussed on increasing the availability of developable land and streamlining the planning system, it also called for government action to incentivise the delivery of Built-to-Rent housing to quickly increase the supply of rental accommodation.

Sunshine Coast News has previously reported on the expected population growth by 2041, but this new data focussed specifically on interstate migration.

In November 2021 experts described how the density of housing along the Sunshine Coast’s coastal strip would change over the next 20 years.

It is estimated 200,000 people would move to the region by 2041, while Sunshine Coast Council’s forward-planning expected the bulk of new arrivals to settle between Maroochydore and Caloundra.

The trajectory of population growth was continuing to drive important discussions on housing availability and affordability, particularly as less locals and youth were leaving the region.

Q Shelter’s Jackson Hills

Q Shelter policy and strategic engagement manager, Jackson Hills, said it was important to address the issue on a local level sooner rather than later, with the region’s population expected grow by 40 per cent by 2041.

“The State Government’s own projections will see population across the Sunshine Coast grow from circa 360,000 to over 500,000 in this period.

“As the population increases, and if affordable supply continues to stagnate, we will see the gap widen further between those with a roof over their head and those presenting to homelessness services for the very first time.

“I know Sunshine Coast Council is reviewing their planning scheme at the moment and that process provides a perfect opportunity to consider these factors.”

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