New Data Shows International Students Filled 7 Out Of 10 Of New Homes

Written by:
17 July 2023
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“Australians are entitled to ask how they can find a home as inflation drives up mortgages and rent prices become unsustainable, yet the federal government has presided over the largest intake of international students who filled the equivalent of 7 out of 10 new homes,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director at the Institute of Public Affairs.

New research released today from the IPA has found the federal government’s unplanned rise in net international student arrivals is the largest on record:

  • Last financial year, the federal government oversaw the largest ever net intake of international students, more than 250,000 students, equivalent to 70% of new housing supply.
  • This financial year, the government is expected to bring in a further 187,000 net new international students, equivalent to 55% of new housing supply.
  • From 2023 to 2028, international students will be equivalent to approximately one-quarter of Australia’s net new housing supply, baking in housing shortages and rising rental prices.

“While international students are an important market for our tertiary education sector, the first job of our leaders must be to ensure that there is adequate housing stock for those looking to get their first home or are in need of a rental,” said Mr Wild.

The research highlights the failure of the federal government’s recent Migration Review, which acknowledges that international students place pressure on housing and local infrastructure, especially in communities that do not benefit from the value international education exports. Despite this, it offered no plan to house these students.

“Once again the federal government has been caught out without a single policy solution to accommodate the unprecedented surge in international students and other migrants, coming at an immense cost to Australians,” said Mr Wild.

In June, IPA research showed Australia is set to face a housing supply shortfall of over 252,000 homes between 2023 and 2028. A significant contributor to this shortfall is the unexpected increase in net international student arrivals.

“We need to have an honest conversation as to the appropriate number of international students we can accommodate while not leaving Australians out in the cold,” said Mr Wild.

“The recently announced unsustainable jumps in migration will put further pressure on critical economic and social infrastructure, such as schools, roads, and hospitals, and will only further add to the acute and immediate shortage of housing.”

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