Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales have taken the lead as the nation’s hottest housing construction markets, according to the latest report.

In a new report, the Housing Industry Association has revealed that 86 housing markets around Australia have met the criteria to qualify as ‘hot spots’ – housing construction markets which in 2014/15 experienced population growth that exceeded the national average and had $100 million or more worth of residential building approved over the period (or $150 million or more in the case of New South Wales and Victoria).

Queensland managed 18 such hot spots, followed by New South Wales (16) and Victoria (15) and Western Australia (14).

However, performances in Victoria and New South Wales were in fact better than this suggests. The sheer number of markets which met the definition HIA usually applies for determining what does and does not qualify as a hot spot had to be specially adjusted upward to $150 million for Victoria and NSW so as reduce the number of hot spots within these states and thus enable HIA to fully plot all of the hot spots on its map.

HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said the hot spot trends were pushing back toward eastern states as population headed back east following the end of the mining boom.

“In previous hot spot reports, we had stronger representation of the mining towns,” Hopkins said. But we look at overall population dynamics in Australia, you can see that strong population growth and interstate migration from the south east of Australia to the mining areas particularly WA for example had now reversed.

“As the conditions in and around mining and mining related employment have deteriorated with the mining investment boom winding up, people are moving back to the key states of New South Wales and Victoria where labour market prospects and conditions are much stronger.”

Another interesting trend, Hopkins said, was the correlation between hot spot areas and those areas marked by governments for population growth.

In Victoria, for example, the three biggest hot spots included Cranbourne East and Beaconsfield-Officer in the east as well as Truganina in the west – areas which all lie within critical growth corridors identified as such by the state government.

Going forward, eastern states are also dominate a short list which made the top 20 hot spot table in 2014/15 and with regard to which building approvals are expected to have risen again within 2015/16 – a short list which is intended to provide a more forward looking view compared with the actual hot spots report which is based upon 2014/15 data.

Eight such markets made the list, including three in Victoria (Truganina, Beaconsfield-Officer and Cranbourne East), two in New South Wales (Waterloo-Beaconsfield and Cobbitty-Leppington) and one in each of Queensland (Pimpama) and the NT (Palmerston).