Australian capital cities have witnessed the biggest loss of people into the regions on record.

The ABS has confirmed the Exodus to Affordable Lifestyle trend with the release of quarterly figures showing the movement of people around Australia.

Economists are calling the escape to the regions a “stampede” and overwhelmed real estate agents are calling the demand on regional properties a boom. CoreLogic data shows regional home prices, on average, rose 8% over the year to January – the biggest jump in 16 years.

The ABS data shows capital cities saw their biggest quarterly loss of people from internal migration on record, with 11,247 people leaving capital cities and moving to regional areas.

Sydney had a net loss of 4,700 people to the rest of the state, building on the 3,700 from the previous quarter. Melbourne also had a net loss of 4,700 people to the rest of the state. Brisbane went against the trend with a net gain of 230 people from the rest of the state, while Perth had a net gain of 710.