With three months still to run, 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for Victoria.
The state’s population recently hit 6 million, adding an extra 114,900 people in a 1.9% increase to the year ending March 31. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this is the fastest population growth recorded in Victoria since 2009 and is well above Australia’s overall growth rate of 1.4%.
Net overseas migration was the main contributor to growth in Victoria, adding 62,800 people to the population over the year ending March 2016. The remainder of Victoria's population change was explained by natural increase (+37,600) and net interstate migration (+14,500), according to the ABS.
“With the Victorian population projected to reach 7 million in 2024, it is no surprise Melbourne is such a desirable location for property investment,” John Marasco, Colliers International State Chief Executive – Victoria, said.
“In addition to the state’s continued strong population growth, we have seen several recent announcements that have solidified Melbourne’s reputation as the world’s most liveable city driven by a world class education sector, ongoing infrastructure investment, enviable public transport and a robust tourism market."
In recent weeks, the Victorian government has announced the signing of the 50-year lease for the Port of Melbourne for a record $9.7billion – the highest price ever paid for an Australian port – to the Lonsdale Consortium of four investment funds led by the Future Fund, QIC, Global Infrastructure Partners and Canadian pension group OMERS.
It is the latest show of confidence by investors in Australian infrastructure assets, in their search for long-term returns in a stable environment.
The Port of Melbourne announcement follows news that international education in Victoria grew by $600 million in 2015, bringing its value to the Victorian economy to a record high of $5.8billion and making it the state's largest service export.
David Jones announced it would relocate its national headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne in what is expected to be a major boost for the local economy and job market, while Melbourne Airport has announced almost $250million worth of capital investment has helped it preserve a decade-long trend of international passenger growth. For the year to 30 June 2016, international passenger numbers through Melbourne Airport grew by 9.5% to reach 9.2 million. Victoria’s share of Australia’s international passenger market is now more than 25%, with the Melbourne market outperforming Sydney and Brisbane in international passenger growth.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has again ranked Melbourne as “The World’s Most Liveable City” in its ‘Liveability Index’ – the sixth consecutive year for the Victorian capital.