Recipe For Disaster – Record Migration As Building Approvals Continue To Fall

Written by:
4 March 2024
Recipe For Disaster – Record Migration As Building Approvals Continue To Fall - Featured image

“The HIA’s latest housing construction shortfall data reinforces the IPA’s concerns that we are simply not building enough houses that Australians, and new migrants alike, can afford to buy,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

Released today, the Housing Industry Association’s latest housing construction forecast revealed an astonishing 200,000 shortfall of dwellings against the federal government’s target over the next five years. The data highlights the real-world consequences of unplanned, record migration levels.

“Governments at all levels are setting Australia up for an economic and humanitarian disaster, as latest dwelling approvals show we are simply not building enough houses for first home buyers and new migrants alike, despite record intakes,” said Daniel Wild, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

New data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on building approvals in January 2024 reveals: (tables over page)

  • The number of approvals for private sector houses declined by 9.9 per cent from December 2023 to January 2024.
  • Approvals for all types of dwellings declined by 1 per cent from December 2023 to January 2024.
    • This was due to a 14.5 per cent increase in the number of non-house approvals, such as apartments.
  • In the twelve months to January 2024, total approvals for private sector houses were fewer than 100,000 for the first time since 2013.

Today’s ABS data follows analysis by the Housing Industry Association, which revealed a housing construction shortfall of 200,000 dwellings against the federal government’s target over the next five years; and recent IPA research, which found that there will be a net housing supply shortfall of 252,800 dwellings over the six years to 2028.

“Today’s ABS data highlights the real-world consequences of unplanned, record levels of migration. Despite repeated warnings, the federal government continues to push the accelerator on migration at the exact same time as the brakes are being slammed on housing approvals,” said Mr Wild.

Recently released IPA research revealed that 2023 was the first year in Australia’s history that more than one million migrants entered our nation.

“The current unplanned migration intake is placing immense pressure on housing and our critical infrastructure, and has not solved our worker shortage crisis,” said Mr Wild.

“IPA research has found the federal government’s migration program is growing out of step with community expectations. Polling showed 60 per cent of Australians want migration paused until more housing and infrastructure is built. Only 23 per cent did not want a pause, and 17 per cent unsure.”

“Record, unplanned migration has failed to address Australia’s worker shortage crisis, the very thing the federal government uses to justify such rapid increases in intake. It is clear this lazy approach to solving worker shortages is not working and there should be a greater focus of getting Australian pensioners, veterans, and students into work.”

“Australia is the world’s most welcoming and tolerant nation, and migration will aways be critical, but it must be planned for and undertaken in a manner that allows us to affordably house both new arrivals and first home buyers alike,” said Mr Wild.

To download the IPA’s research on Australia’s record migration intake click here.

To download the IPA’s research on Australia’s housing shortfall click here.

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