The city Aussies are eagerly abandoning
They were once the cities people would move to for work but the coronavirus pandemic has made things look dramatically different now.
While people have anecdotally shared stories of people moving from Melbourne after the Victoria's harsh lockdown restrictions, new data shows just how true that is.
But Melburnians don't want to move to Sydney either, with the city being snubbed for Brisbane. South Australians are also heading to the sunshine state, according to Muval, a national online removalist booking platform.
Real estate watchers had already detected an upswing in online searches for homes in regional towns. Now it has been confirmed prices are shooting up in places like Geelong and Dubbo, just as they go down in Melbourne and Sydney.
But to ease financial pressures from December 1, the Australian Government is offering grants of up to $9000 for job seekers moving within Australia for work.
The new grants also allow city-to-city moves with $3000 relocation assistance and previous wait times of 12 months for assistance have been dropped as part of broader efforts to get Australia moving and into employment after the pandemic recession.
James Morrell, chief executive at Muval, said this would expedite the boom in Australians relocating, having already seen a 52 per cent rise in inquiries about moving interstate since the pandemic started.
"Our data suggests that these new government incentives will accelerate the 'relocation of the nation' that we've been seeing since COVID-19 hit," he said.
"Latest ABS stats are also showing net losses in migration to Sydney and Melbourne for the June quarter of 2020. Searches and bookings for relocation services on our site show there is unprecedented demand to swap cities."
Comparing Muval's inquiries from people moving interstate in the April-June quarter to July-September quarter, they found Brisbane and Perth residents were the most content to stay put.
Unsurprisingly, few people want to move to Melbourne.
Even some Sydneysiders are leaving the city, with a 21 per cent jump in searches for moves to Brisbane since COVID hit.
There was a 20 per cent hike in inquiries from Melburnians wanting to move to Adelaide. Overall Melburnians have made up 42 per cent of total "moving out" searches on Muval since August.
The company has helped Melbourne families who have packed up everything and moved to Brisbane where they have undergone quarantine and bought a house, without even seeing it, to start a new life or for work opportunities.
Since the pandemic hit, Aussies have flocked to Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, with a 96 per cent rise in searches for these areas.
There has been almost double the growth in quote requests for southeast Queensland and northern NSW areas including Toowoomba, Ballina, Lismore and Byron Bay.
Meanwhile, Cairns, Townsville and other North Queensland regions are seeing similar spikes.
Moves to areas like Newcastle were up 140 per cent.
Despite hard border closures, there has been a 91 per cent increase in inquiries for people moving to Western Australia in the September quarter compared to the June quarter.
Mr Morrell said he believed the government assistance would encourage people's friends to move as well.
"We've already seen a number of people leaving behind higher cost of living locations for a simpler and more affordable lifestyle in another area," he said.
The funds can be used to cover costs such as removalists, temporary accommodation and travel.
The amount of bedrooms and belongings Australians are looking to move, based on searches on the Muval website, suggest that families were the first to relocate from May to July 2020.
From August to September 2020, and especially since mandatory hotel quarantine costs were introduced, Muval has seen smaller amounts of items being moved indicating more individuals or couples moving.
There has also been a higher than anticipated spike in females looking to move interstate, apart from inquiries to move to Perth where more males are searching for their next address.
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Originally published as The city Aussies are eagerly abandoning