Auckland and Sydney have much in common. Both are the largest cities in their respective nations. Both are harbour cities. Both have ridiculously expensive housing, with median dwelling values that hover near the $1 million mark. And both are the international gateways to New Zealand and Australia, and thereby attract the biggest share of each nation’s migrants.
Another factor both cities have in common is that local residents are being forced out en masse by the perpetual migrant flood, as well as the chronic housing and infrastructure pressures this creates.
Let’s look at Auckland first, where new research shows a net loss of Aucklanders to the rest of the country of 33,000 during the last Auckland housing boom (2014-17), more than offset by a net increase 141,000 migrants. From Interest.co.nz:
Economist Benjie Patterson has crunched information from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) for the period 2014-17…
He’s found that in the 2014-17 period the exodus from Auckland was increasing. In 2014 the net loss was 2,727, increasing to 6,924 in 2015, 10,332 in 2016 and 12,942 in 2017.
The figures coincide with the period in which Auckland house prices were rocketing and becoming increasingly unaffordable…
“Net regional migration out of Auckland is characterised by high net outflows of people in their late twenties and through their thirties with children”…
Now Sydney, where the latest capital city population figures from The ABS revealed that Sydney’s population ballooned by 93,411 people in 2017-18, driven by 77,091 net overseas migrants, who accounted for 83% of Sydney’s growth. At the same time, 27,264 locals departed the city:
As we know, the cost of a dwelling in Sydney skyrocketed to insane levels:
Which drove the home ownership rate for those aged under-40 through the floor:
With the proportion of households thrown onto the rental market ballooning:
And more than half of lower income households deemed to be in ‘rental stress’:
So basically, incumbent young Aucklanders and Sydneysiders have been forced to move from where they grew up just so they can make way for the perpetual torrent of migrants hitting each city every year via both governments’ mass immigration policies.
Cutting immigration back to sensible levels would improve income/wealth inequality and home ownership as there would be less upward pressure on house prices, as well as less economic rents flowing to the owners of capital (who benefit the most from mass immigration while ordinary residents bear the costs).
Wage growth would also improve, other things equal, as there would be less competition for jobs and workers’ bargaining power is increased, which would also help to reduce inequality.
There would also be less youth unemployment, as employers are incentivised to hire and train young workers and graduates rather than taking the easy route of importing a migrant.
Lower population growth would also lift productivity and income by decongesting both cities and, over the long run, would share both nation’s fixed national endowment of resources among fewer people, also ensuring higher income per capita.
Reducing immigration back towards the historical levels is a no-brainer for anybody concerned about inequality and living standards.