New Data: Record Migration To Worsen Housing Crisis

Written by:
12 September 2023
New Data: Record Migration To Worsen Housing Crisis - Featured image

“Australians must brace for even further increases in the cost of housing and rents as the federal government’s record, unplanned migration intake arrives without any plan to build the number of homes needed,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Released today, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that:

  • Australia’s year-to-date net migration is the highest on record, at 317,800 new migrants.
  • The year-to-date migrant intake is one-third higher than the previous record in 2009.
  • Net arrivals for the first seven months of 2023 is already higher than the entire annual intake of 2019, the last pre-Covid year, at 294,000.

“The surge in unplanned migration comes in the middle of an acute housing shortage, and at a time when building approval for housing nationwide is in decline, placing immense pressure on families across Australia” said Mr Wild.

Recent data released by the ABS on the number of dwellings approved to be built in July revealed a month-on-month decline of 8.1% from June, and a year-on-year decline of 10.6% from July 2022.

“The government is pushing the accelerator on migration at the exact same time as the brakes are being slammed on housing construction, which is causing a dramatic increase to rental costs across Australia,” said Mr Wild.

The surge to migration is being driven by record international student intake. Net international student intake between January and July in 2023 reached 258,880 students, some 25% higher than the previous record in 2018.

“The federal government has no plan for the pressure its unplanned mass migration policy is having on schools, roads, hospitals, and housing, and it will be mainstream Australians left with the bill,” said Mr Wild.

IPA research found last financial year, international students absorbed the equivalent of 70% of net new housing supply, mainly in Australia’s capital cities. This financial year, approximately 55% of net new housing supply will be claimed by international students.

“Migration has and will continue to play a vital role in Australia’s economic and social life, but any intake must be properly planned for to ensure that the costs in our communities are minimised,” said Mr Wild.

“The federal government’s recently secured deal on the Housing Australia Future Fund is only a drop in the ocean, creating, at most, just 6,000 houses per year over the next five years, which is dramatically short of the forecast 252,000 housing shortfall over the next five years.”

See charts on historical migration levels over page. To download the IPA’s research click here.

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