Herron Todd White Valuers – Month In Review
As published by Herron Todd White Valuers
In the 1981 census, the Toowoomba region had a population of 94,605. The population has been steadily increasing since then, with the latest census (2016) recording the population of the Toowoomba region at 160,779 and a growth rate of 0.9% per annum in the past five years. This trend however, is well below the Queensland growth rate of 1.5%.
Toowoomba has proven to be a popular location attracting retirees from the broader south-west Queensland area. At the last census, the proportion of 60-plus year olds in Toowoomba was 23.6% versus 18.8% for Queensland and 19.6% for Australia. This demographic mix supports the health sector which, along with the education sector, is forecast to enjoy continued strong growth in the region.
With Toowoomba being an hour and a half from Brisbane, the desire to move out of home and study in the larger universities is apparent. This has seen a decline in the population of young adults (20 to 39 year olds) within the region as they often continue residing outside of Toowoomba post their studies to start their careers. It’s not until their peak professional career age (45 to 59) that we see an increase in population, as many former locals return home with an established family and steady income, seeking lifestyle and quality schooling.
This exodus of young people and influx of established families is reflected in the composition and performance of the Toowoomba residential property market. Toowoomba has a low level of unit and townhouse development and only a moderate level of affordable first home owner estates in comparison to other major regional centres. The prestige market however, has been performing strongly, particularly in the eastern suburbs where many established families reside, being close to schools and public infrastructure. The higher proportion of older residents is also reflected in the current high level of retirement and aged care product being developed. Population and demographics are certainly playing a role in the performance and shape of the Toowoomba residential property market.