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Eliza Owen's insights on Property Update have ignited our exploration into the intricacies of Australia's housing market, where overseas migration often takes center stage. As we unravel this complex landscape, our key takeaways underscore the need for a practical approach to secure a sustainable housing future.

Key Takeaways:

Housing Tenure of Migrants: Temporary migrants, constituting 68.9% of individuals aged 15 and above in 2021, significantly impact the rental market. Notably, 91.6% of temporary skilled visa holders and 83.5% of student visa holders opt for rental arrangements.

Ownership rates increase as migrants' stay in the country lengthens.

Current Migration Trends: Australia's decisive closure to non-citizens and non-residents in 2020 set the stage for a migration cap lift in July 2022. Net overseas migration has surged to a record high, adding 454,000 to the population in the past 12 months, resulting in a 2.17% annual growth. This surge is a consequence of delayed arrivals converging with new decisions, expected to normalise gradually.

Rental Market Volatility: The COVID-induced migration ban triggered short-term volatility in the rental market, with demand soaring upon the reopening of international borders.

Regions with substantial net overseas migration witnessed an impressive 18% average growth in rents between July 2022 and October 2023. Interestingly, longer-term rent growth shows a less straightforward correlation with migration patterns.

Multiple Demand-Side Factors: Housing costs are shaped by factors beyond migration, including shifts in household sizes, government stimulus, and low-interest rates. Between March 2020 and July 2022, a period marked by closed borders, national rents surged by 16.4%, echoing the dynamics of demand-side forces.

Trade-offs in Migration Policy: While a consistent, longer-term migration target aids housing supply planning, it introduces economic trade-offs. Skilled migration emerges as a strategic solution, addressing shortages in sectors like construction, fostering economic growth, and contributing to housing completion. A reduction in migration intake may have ramifications on economic productivity, potentially exacerbating imbalances in the housing supply-demand equation.

Conclusion: In the ongoing discourse surrounding the interplay of migration and housing affordability, a nuanced understanding of market dynamics is paramount. Crafting strategic, long-term migration policies with a holistic view of factors influencing housing values, rental markets, and economic growth is essential. Achieving equilibrium among these considerations is the linchpin to cultivating a resilient and sustainable housing future for Australia.

Stay tuned for more updates.


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