With Sydney’s median house price hitting a record $1.1m, many residents in the Harbour City are looking north to Brisbane for more affordable housing.

According to the Domain Group’s rental and house price report for the December quarter, Brisbane’s median house price is slightly above $540,000.

New South Wales’ stronger economic performance in recent years is largely responsible for this extreme price gap, said Rob Honeycombe, chairman of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ).  

“It was inevitable that we’d see a widening gap in median house prices, and the latest stats shouldn’t come as any surprise,” he told the Domain Group. “There’s a pretty consistent pattern in interstate migration following house price growth in Sydney particularly.

People regularly move to chase work and employment opportunities, but lifestyle is also a huge factor.”

Queensland has long been the “happy recipient” of strong interstate migration from NSW, and this trend is likely to continue given the price disparity between the two states.

According to statistical analysis by Propertyology, Queensland experienced an interstate migration increase of 3,328 people over the June quarter, the highest since December 2008.

Simon Pressley, managing director of Propertyology, said Queensland has recorded three consecutive quarters of interstate migration growth, with more than 3,000 people shifting to Queensland every three months. In contrast, New South Wales has recorded three quarters of declines.

“The main reason they’d be leaving NSW is housing affordability. Clearly there are plenty of jobs in Sydney…but housing affordability is turning some people away,” Pressley said.

“A rebound in coal prices will make it easier for job creation to attract more people across the border, but if Brisbane’s property market is to fully awaken from its slumber, funding initiatives for new infrastructure is what is really needed.”