Former Sydneysider Helena Maalouf, 27, moved to Brisbane in the hope of achieving her dream – a three or four-bedroom house with a pool and backyard in New Farm. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning
Former Sydneysider Helena Maalouf, 27, moved to Brisbane in the hope of achieving her dream – a three or four-bedroom house with a pool and backyard in New Farm. Picture: AAP/Josh Woning

'A new Sunshine Coast' moving to Qld in next five years

SYDNEY'S "stupid" house prices are driving a population surge in Queensland, with the renaissance of the traditional northern pilgrimage helping the state navigate the post-construction-boom era.

New analysis by Deloitte Access Economics has revealed the Sunshine State has been fired up by a one-two combination of increasing tourist imports and a rise in coal and gas exports.

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Queensland's economic revival is at odds with nationwide trends, with the report predicting a mini-credit crunch, drought and lacklustre housing construction would peg Australia's growth this year.

Treasurer Jackie Trad says it’s hardly surprising that NSW residents are heading north. Picture: Brendan Radke
Treasurer Jackie Trad says it’s hardly surprising that NSW residents are heading north. Picture: Brendan Radke

"The cavalry is here," Deloitte's Business Outlook report said of Queensland.

"Gas exports are leaping and Sydney's stupid housing prices have helped underpin a resurgence in population growth, which is now back above the national average.

"As a result, Queensland's growth has well and truly recovered from the tricky times that flowed from the downturn in resource investment of just a few years ago."

Treasurer Jackie Trad said it was hardly surprising that NSW residents were changing allegiances.

"Sydneysiders are saying goodbye to New South Wales and hello to our Sunshine State lifestyle, and who can blame them?" Ms Trad said.

"Queensland offers a more affordable and liveable lifestyle, incredible weather, and booming new industries in research, LNG exports and renewables.

"Tourists are also flocking to our beaches, cities and regions, with the longest period of sustained tourism growth since the 1990s delivering a welcome boost to the retail and hospitality sectors."

The report shows more than 300,000 extra people will call Queensland home during the next five years, equivalent to the current population of the Sunshine Coast.

Queensland's growth rate has leapfrogged NSW but still trails behind Victoria.

Much of Queensland's economic success was founded on NSW and Victorian families packing up their lives and heading for the opportunities that beckoned in the Sunshine State.

While the state's growth curve slackened in recent years, Queensland welcomed its five-millionth resident last year, as high-priced housing forced people to flee overcrowded Sydney.

"A lot of this growth has come from people - especially Sydneysiders - migrating north in search of cheaper housing (and warmer weather), as interstate migration into Queensland hits its highest level in over a decade," the report said.

Brisbane’s housing construction has nosedived since the apartment building boom of 2015 and 2016. Picture: AAP/Darren England
Brisbane’s housing construction has nosedived since the apartment building boom of 2015 and 2016. Picture: AAP/Darren England

However, Deloitte warned that strong population growth was failing to cut Queensland's jobless queue, and the state's unemployment rate had now hovered above 6 per cent for more than four years.

Housing construction had also nosedived following the apartment building boom of 2015 and 2016, however the population surge would likely ensure the industry's downturn was short-lived.

Deloitte found Queensland's engineering construction sector, which has struggled since the state's three LNG projects were completed, has improved on the back of increased public and private sector activity.

Meanwhile, CommSec's State of the States report, to be released today, still has Queensland pegged in sixth place.

The report, which compares Queensland to its own decade average, shows employment and business investment remain well behind their halcyon days during the LNG construction boom.

But Ms Trad dismissed the CommSec report, saying the figures compared Queensland now to Queensland during an unprecedented mining and investment boom.

"But while CommSec looks backwards, we are unashamedly looking to the future, investing in the right projects to grow Queensland's economy, and supporting the private sector to do the same," she said.

Helena Maalouf, 27, left Sydney for Brisbane last June because she wanted to one day own her home instead of staying in the rent trap forever.

The headwear designer from Granville in Sydney's west said a three or four-bedroom home with a pool and backyard in New Farm would be her dream.

"To have a house like that in Sydney, I'd have to live really far away from the city, and it wouldn't suit my lifestyle and work. Plus, the commute would be super long," she said.



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