A 10 year fall in the percentage of migrants settling in NSW and the lowest rate of economic growth of all mainland states has Melbourne on track to overtake Sydney as Australia’s biggest city, a report predicts.
The Going Nowhere report, produced by the economic forecasters BIS Shrapnel, says lower developer levies on new housing land in Melbourne have allowed construction of homes at twice the rate of Sydney. This is fuelling a population and economic growth in the Victorian capital that means it will become the country’s biggest city by 2037.
The report, commissioned by the Urban Taskforce, says NSW’s share of national migration has fallen from about 42 per cent 10 years ago to about 30 per cent due to the ”extremely challenging conditions” in the residential property market when prices leapt after the Olympics.
The Taskforce chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said the report paints a picture of Sydney as a global city with a population growth rate likely to fall from 1.1 per cent a year to just 0.9 per cent per year, well below Melbourne’s forecast growth rate of 1.3 per cent.
Nine years ago Sydney had 660,000 more people than Melbourne, but that figure had fallen to 500,000 by last year because of a slowdown in housing construction. If these trends continue, Melbourne will become the nation’s largest populated city.