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Find out all the latest trends around moving home in Australia, including how COVID-19 has affected where we live, with Budget Direct’s latest statistics and survey results.

1 September 2021 | See disclaimer

Quick stats

  • Renters were nearly twice as likely to shift home, compared to property owners
  • South Australians have done the least moving, with only 13% of respondents shifting their residence in the past 12 months
  • Australians surveyed in regional areas were significantly more likely to move interstate than those living in metropolitan areas
  • 36% of moves by Australians surveyed in the previous 12 months were triggered somewhat by COVID-19.

Our residency is often determined by a number of factors. There are the needs of our families, our employment, our social circles, the local legislation, even the climate and lifestyle of an area. So when, where and how we move will usually be swayed by a number of macro factors.

To properly gauge why and how Australians have shifted home, we have compiled the most recent Census data and our own survey results:

  1. 1.0. Australian moving home statistics
    1. 1.1. Census data – Residence who have changed address
  2. 2.0. Moving home survey results
    1. 2.1. Have you moved home within the last 12 months?
    2. 2.2. Did your move within the last 12 months involve moving to a new state?
    3. 2.3. Was your move triggered at all by the COVID-19 pandemic?
    4. 2.4. Which statement best describes your home/contents insurance as you moved?
    5. 2.5. Did you feel like you had too many belongings when you moved?
    6. 2.6. Do you find moving house to be a stressful experience?
    7. 2.7. If you were to move home, would you move yourself or would you hire a professional moving company?
    8. 2.8. Have you had any negative experiences with removalists in the past?
  3. 3.0. How to minimise stress in your next move.

1.0. Australian moving home statistics

The most recent Census data in 2016[1] revealed the exact number of Australians who had changed addresses in the 5 years prior, and the 12 months prior.

1.1 Census data - Residents who have changed address

During the last 5 years
During the last 12 months

Queenslanders had one of the highest rates of residents who have changed addresses in the previous 5 years from the Census date. However, an added report published by the ABS[2] mentioned that Queensland was the most popular destination for Australians to move to from other states. Therefore, this figure was likely to have been contributed to by interstate travellers who moved to Queensland.

2.0 Moving home survey results

2.1 Have you moved home within the last 12 months?

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

Compared to Census data of 2016, Australians in our survey had a slightly higher rate of having moved within the previous 12 months (rising from 15% in 2016 to 20% in 2021).

Renters were almost twice as likely to move as those that own their property, with around 30% of participants indicating they had moved within the last 12 months. Our survey results also suggested that Australians are less likely to move as they get older, with the youngest cohort having the highest rates of moving in the last 12 months.

Metropolitan respondents also had a slightly higher rate of moving than those based in regional areas.

2.2 Did your move within the last 12 months involve moving to a new state?*

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

*Only respondents who indicated they had moved in the past 12 months answered this question.

Regional dwellers in our survey were more likely to indicate they shifted interstate than those who live in metropolitan areas. Australians aged over 55 were also incredibly likely to stay in their original state, with roughly 90% of respondents saying they didn’t cross borders in the move.

Respondents who now list their locations as in South Australia were also the most likely to indicate they moved interstate, suggesting South Australia was a common destination for those moving across the nation.

2.3 Was your move triggered at all by the COVID-19 pandemic?*

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

*Only respondents who indicated they had moved in the past 12 months answered this question.

Roughly 36% of respondents across Australia indicated that their move within the last 12 months was triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. This could help explain the roughly 33% uplift in moving rates from the 2016 Census to our 2021 survey.

Unsurprisingly, over 40% of moves in metropolitan regions of Australia were triggered somewhat by COVID-19, where the virus spread with greater concentrations and effects.

Victorians had the highest rate of being affected by COVID-19, with the pandemic triggering nearly half of all moves. Queenslanders and Western Australians seemed the least affected, with around a quarter of moves within each state having COVID-19 as an influence.

2.4 Which statement best describes your home/contents insurance as you moved?*

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

*Only respondents who indicated they had moved in the past 12 months answered this question.

Around 30% of all respondents in Australia suggested they simply carried their existing policy/insurer across to their new home when they moved. However, almost 50% of those who rent their property simply didn’t have insurance before they moved, and still didn’t afterwards. In fact, only around 40% of renters suggested they had any home/contents insurance after their move.

Western Australians were some of the most insured across the nation, with only around 12% of participants having no form of insurance on their new property (compared to 39% of all Australian participants).

2.5 Did you feel like you had too many belongings when you moved?*

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

*Only respondents who indicated they had moved in the past 12 months answered this question.

Almost three quarters of all surveyed Australians believe they had too many belongings when they moved. Unsurprisingly, as Australians tend to get older, their responses indicated that they were more and more likely to have too many belongings. This exceeded 84% of respondents aged between 55 and 64 years of age.

Western Australians again stood out from the rest of the nation, returning the best rate on being comfortable with the amount of belongings they moved.

There was no noticeable difference in the opinions of renters compared to owners, or men compared to women.

2.6 Do you find moving house to be a stressful experience?

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

More renters in our study tended to find moving to be stressful (84%), compared to owners of property (78%). Young Australians aged between 18 and 24 also had the lowest rate of any age bracket to find moving stressful, at a rate of 71%.

There was a minor difference between those in metropolitan areas and regional areas, where the latter had slightly lower rates of finding moving to be stressful. This indicates that moving is more stressful in busy, metropolitan areas.

2.7 If you were to move home, would you move yourself or would you hire a professional moving company?

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

As the cohort of participants got older, their likelihood of being involved in the move decreased. Over 42% of those aged between 18 and 24 would move themselves entirely, whereas under 14% of those aged above 65 would do the same.

Renters were also far more likely to be involved in the move themselves, with only 25% opting to have a professional handle the move for them.

Regional residents were also far more likely to perform a DIY move (32%) than those based in metropolitan areas (24%).

2.8 Have you had any negative experiences with removalists in the past?

Australia
Region
State
Age
Gender
Owner/Renter

Renters (32%) were more likely to have had a bad experience with removalists than home owners (21%). This correlates to their likelihood to not engage professionals in a future move (see 2.7).

Tasmanians have also had the worst luck with removalists, with over 30% of respondents having had a bad experience in the past. Meanwhile, those aged over 65 seemed to have the fewest bad experiences with removalists. Again, this might relate to why over 50% of this cohort would exclusively hire removalists if they were to move (see 2.7).

3.0 How to minimise stress in your next move

Don’t pack what you don’t need

74% of Australians in our survey said they had too many belongings when they moved. If you have a move coming up, take their advice, and thin out what you don’t need. You’ll find you not only enjoy the space in your new home more, but you’ll save the time and stresses of extra moving.

Be clever about packing

Socks and undies can actually make for semi-decent padding for some of your more sensitive or fragile belongings. Old sheets and towels can even help you keep plates apart when it comes time to pack the kitchen.

Ensure you’re covered after the move

It’s worth remembering to change over your details to the new address when you move. If the costs of moving are going through your new roof, find out how buying online can save you up to 30% on your first year’s premiums on a Home & Contents Insurance policy.

Read more: Budget-friendly moving tips

References:

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021, 2016 Census – Selected Dwelling Characteristics.
[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017, Census: younger Australians more likely to make a move.

Disclaimer: This survey was conducted by Pure Profile on behalf of Budget Direct in August 2021. The survey was conducted online with a total sample size of 1012, weighted and representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+). All other data on this website is the latest available from the named sources in this references above, and was obtained in August 2021. Budget Direct does not insure properties above the Tropic of Capricorn. Auto & General Services Pty Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the data and accepts no liability whatsoever arising from or connected in any way to the use or reliance upon this data.

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