Dispelling some migration housing market myths

Perhaps Australia’s worst kept secret is the multifaceted housing woes currently plaguing the country. After a brief lull last year, house prices have shot up 7.2 per cent in the last 12 months, with rents rising 6 per cent in that period, leaving many prospective buyers and tenants feeling disenfranchised with the nation’s housing market.

“Heated discussions around migration are drawing more focus as housing affordability worsens,” Ms Owen explained. “But there are many other factors driving values and the rental market.”

In her belief, “long-term strategic migration policy should not be influenced by short-term volatility in migration and property markets”.

In response to rising tensions around the increased migration’s property market impacts, Ms Owen has unpacked five key insights that provide further context to the relationship between migration and Australia’s housing market.

Migrants flock to the rental market, at least initially

Migrants target rentals, at least in the short-term anyway. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicated 61 per cent of migrant arrivals in the five years to 2021 were renters.

Home ownership rates, as a result, are higher in migrants who have been in the country longer, Ms Owen noted.

“As of 2021, this included 55.6 per cent of arrivals between 2012 and 2016, and 70.6 per cent of migrant arrivals before 2012,” she said. For arrivals between 2017 and 2021, this portion of home owners drops to 38.3 per cent.

Among temporary migrants, nearly 70 per cent of this cohort aged older then 15 were renters in 2021, including 91.6 per cent of temporary skilled visa holders, and 83.5 per cent of student visa holders.

Today’s migration boom is because of yesteryear’s restrictions

Remember that little old thing, COVID-19, and the locks it placed on our borders? Between March 2020 and July 2022, Australia’s

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