See you later: Proof Sydney sucks
MORE and more NSW residents are leaving the state - and Sydney's notorious congestion and insane property prices might be behind the exodus.
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for 2016-17, more than 18,000 residents abandoned Sydney last year in favour of Melbourne and other parts of NSW.
Meanwhile, nearly 85,000 overseas migrants arrived in Sydney, bringing the total population to 5.1 million.
In comparison, Brisbane and Melbourne had the biggest jump in interstate migration.
Former long-term Sydney couple Megan and Nat Bowden offered a clue to the reasons behind the trend.
The young parents told news.com.au they had swapped Sydney's eastern suburbs for Brisbane several years ago due to work opportunities, and had never looked back.
Mrs Bowden said as a young family, Brisbane's lifestyle and affordability beat Sydney hands down.
"Lifestyle-wise we really love it; it's not as busy as Sydney and property prices are definitely more attractive," Mrs Bowden told news.com.au.
"If we were still in Sydney, we wouldn't have been in a position to buy our first place at the same age."
PRDnationwide's national research manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo said there had definitely been a significant move away from Sydney and other NSW metro areas recently.
The PRDnationwide Capital City Hotspots report found it was "very difficult" to track down Sydney suburbs that were affordable and liveable - with low crime rates, nearby amenities, local job growth and low unemployment.
And earlier this month, an RMIT University report revealed that while Sydney was the most liveable capital in the country, it was plagued by a dismal public transport system. Just 2 per cent of the city's suburbs met Transport for NSW's ambitious targets for access.
Those factors, combined with Sydney's astronomical cost of living, renting and buying, could at least partly explain why so many residents are moving on.
"Yes, there are people leaving NSW and most of them are in the capital city or metro areas, which has led to a decrease in demand and so property prices are starting to climb down," Dr Mardiasmo explained.
"But when it comes to regional areas, we're seeing more people migrating towards regional NSW where property prices are still quite affordable.
"There's been quite a lot of first homebuyer activity in regional areas where there's definitely more bang for your buck. But we're definitely seeing a bit of a movement towards Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania as well."
At the same time as locals have been leaving Sydney, the city's rental vacancy rates have also soared to a record high of 2.8 per cent in June, according to property analysis firm SQM Research.
It means there haven't been this many Sydney rentals sitting empty since 2005 - a trend probably caused by a combination of people leaving Sydney, property owners putting their home on the rental market instead of selling due to the softening house prices and a glut of new developments on the market.
Earlier this year, MacroBusiness chief economist Leith van Onselen told The Australian it was clear why locals were choosing to leave Sydney behind them.
"The cost of housing in Sydney has obviously gone through the roof; it's one of the most expensive places to live in the world. A lot of younger people especially can't afford to live there anymore, so they're being forced to leave," he told the publication.
"Secondly, liveability is being massively eroded - traffic congestion, trains, schools, hospitals, all manner of public services - and related to that it's just become an expensive place to live, not just for housing but for day-to-day life.
"Because of that, I think a lot of people are leaving and going to Brisbane and Melbourne, which has it's own problems."