Poof! Dr Liz Allen disappears into housing hypocrisy singularity

Here she is, Australia’s number one mass immigration booster:

Not for the first time, MB wishes there was an extra law of thermodynamics that implodes galactic-scale hypocrisy. Poof! From UBS:

In short, as mass immigration tanks, housing oversupply mushrooms, killing price growth. But don’t take my word for it. Ask everybody!

Earlier this year, university academics released research showing that mass immigration is unambiguously lifting Australian house prices, thus making housing less affordable for the resident population:

In cities where the new migrant population grew by 1 per cent each year, house prices likewise rose by 0.9 per cent, according to the study titled The Impact of Immigration on Housing Prices in Australia by senior lecturer at Monash Business School Daniel Melser, and, RMIT University student Morteza Moallemi.

“House prices would have been around 1.4 per cent lower per annum, and units 0.8 per cent lower, if there had been no immigration [from 2006 to 2016],” they wrote, in the soon-to-be-published study…

“Interestingly, the effect of immigrants on different property types is different – there is a bigger impact on houses than units or apartments,” Mr Melser said.

Specific migrant groups also had a bigger impact on house prices than others, given they were more likely to buy a home, Mr Melser said

“Chinese and Indian immigrants have high rates of home ownership,” he said…

The study supports similar findings from the Productivity Commission:

High rates of immigration put upward pressure on land and housing prices in Australia’s largest cities. Upward pressures are exacerbated by the persistent failure of successive state, territory and local governments to implement sound urban planning and zoning policies…

The Grattan Institute’s housing reform blueprint also explicitly stated that “high rates of immigration” are a contributing factor to Australia’s rapid house price growth and reduced housing affordability:

Strong population growth, both from natural increase and overseas migration, has increased demand for housing and contributed to the increase in dwelling prices, particularly in our major cities…

Immigration has been the major driver of population growth since the mid-2000s… Immigrants are more likely to move to Australia’s major cities than existing residents…

The CBA admits it:

Back in January 2017, the interest rate strategists at the Commonwealth Bank published a Global Markets Research paper called Demography is Destiny for Interest Rates, But Immigration a Fountain of Youth. Kerr and Donaldson were the authors…

Deflation, not inflation, is listed as the biggest threat ahead…

The paper does not predict Australian house prices will fall, though. So it may not be wise for millennials to sit back and wait for them to become cheaper.

The paper makes the case that, against the trends in many other countries, Australia will still experience growth. Our differentiator is immigration, “the fountain of youth”. Put simply, we are a destination of choice for China and India. The average age of our immigrant is in the mid-20s, and people at this stage in life form families and buy houses.

Investor buyer’s agent, Richard Wakelin, makes no bones about it:

However, the elephant in the room for the government and Opposition is population policy. Here the news is unreservedly good… Despite years of political rhetoric about curtailing immigration and population growth, both parties are studiously avoiding anything that would do that…

…the Budget papers’ outlook for net overseas migration for the next four years sits at an annual increase of between 259,000 and 272,000 every year until 2022. These are numbers as good as or better than net overseas migration levels of the past decade…

Because both main parties are indicating that they will largely leave population growth unchanged and therefore avoid a damaging demand shock, one can be confident this won’t be a critical election for property – whatever else the politicians say in coming weeks.

AMP’s Shane Oliver is unequivocal:

Rather the basic problem has been a surge in population growth from mid-last decade and an inadequate supply response (thanks partly to tight development controls and lagging infrastructure). Since 2006, annual population growth averaged about 150,000 people above what it was over the decade to the mid-2000s. This required the supply of an extra 50,000 new homes per year. See the next chart. Unfortunately, this was slow in coming. But with an insufficient supply response to surging demand, prices were able to stay elevated. And so poor housing affordability got locked in.

Dr’s Bob Birrell and Dr Ernest Healy know the truth:

The housing affordability crisis in Sydney and Melbourne is close to the worst in the developed world. As of 2017, the ratio of median house prices to median household income in Sydney was 12.9 and in Melbourne 9.9. Only Vancouver and Hong Kong were as bad or worse on this metric.

The result is an intergenerational divide in which the younger generation have diminishing prospects of attaining the housing their parents’ generation enjoy. Property owners are feasting on extraordinary capital gains at the expense of young people who, in Sydney and Melbourne, will never experience any similar benefits because they cannot get onto even the lowest rung of the property ladder.

The Coalition knows it:

You cannot have a net migration rate of 800,000 people over three years without that number of housing starts. That is what has happened, and we have seen prices explode across the nation. For the average Australian, it is a false economy to think that your house has gone up in price, because all it means is that the gap is bigger if you want to upgrade. So, for most Australians, the increase we have seen in housing costs has benefitted only a small number of people.

The RBNZ knows it:

Rapid population growth has been one of the most striking features of New Zealand’s economy in recent years. The migration-fueled population increase, in excess of 1 percent per year, created buoyant conditions for New Zealand’s construction and real estate markets. Real estate prices increased by more than 200 percent in real terms between 1992 and 2016, and the fraction of New Zealand’s workforce in the construction sector increased from 4.8 percent in 1992, a post-1970 low, to 7.7 percent in 2009 (prior to the Christchurch earthquake) and 8.2 percent in 2016…

The RBA knows it:

So what does the governor worry about? He worries about opportunity and about inequality… And he worries that high house prices can entrench inequality from one generation to the next…

Hold on. Aren’t you to blame? Wasn’t it the RBA, by keeping interest rates so low for so long, that created the “bubble” in house prices? “It was a contributor,” Lowe concedes, “but not a prime contributor. If you ask any first-year economics student, what’s going to happen to housing prices – we all want to live in fantastic locations by the coast, each person have a large block of land, and under-invest in transport, and allow fast population growth, please explain? I think you’re going to get high housing prices.”

BIS knows it:

“Whether it’s zero or close to zero the number has plummeted,” Mr Mellor said. “So we are forecasting a drop in migration of about 60,000 this financial year and another 150,000 next financial year.”

With about 2.7 people per household, the forecast drop equates to about 80,000 fewer houses needing to be built.

“These people who are no longer coming impact on the rental market, so it will significantly reduce demand and that will lift vacancy rates and increase risks around residential property,” Mr Mellor said…

Of course, the impact of immigration on house prices and affordability would be much worse in Sydney and Melbourne given they alone take in around two-thirds of Australia’s migrants, most of whom are from China and India.

I could go on but I don’t have all day. Immigration is not the only factor but it is one massive driver of housing inequality, which is why Sydney and Melbourne are such outstanding examples of it, as well as are now improving versus every other city.

And, finally, along comes Dr Liz Allen, gasping and puffing miles to rear, wheezing about the very house price bubble that she did everything in her power to create.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. “The fate of this country keeps me up at night.”

    The Tim Tam Corporation is now a solid BUY.

    “Many Australians will never own a home, their kids doomed to the same. We must stop kicking the can down the road. Housing is essential; a human right. This country must place homeownership at the centre of the path forward.”

    Errrr, I can’t find an ASX useful idiot index, but I’m sure it has gone through the roof. Apparently Liz thought that asset inflation, depressing aggregate GDP and love ins with Anus ‘the wage crusher’ Bollox (Innes) and the selling of national amenity to assist virtue signalling was a path to social justice and wealth. No chocolate coated banana for Liz!

  2. Liz. While you’re still employed, it might be prudent to:
    A: get the car serviced, and
    B: learn to code.

    • Claud Bollinger

      No one would dare fire Liz, she’s a fat female virtue signaller – they’d be hit with a discrimination suite.

      Much easier for HR to shuffle off some older straight pale males.

  3. TailorTrashMEMBER

    “The fate of this country“ is in the hands of China and India . Now go back to bed Liz and spare us your hypocracy.

  4. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    Let me be clear that I feel very sorry for Dr Allen’s seven children. I can’t comment on her merits as a parent, I’m sure she’s great, but as far as her politics go she has set her own children up for a lifetime of renting servitude (and crowded transport, and overloaded health systems, and low-paying jobs) out of some weird ‘revenge fantasy’ on the people who said mean things to her growing up [I’m basing that on interviews she has previously given to the media, it’s not conjecture]. The irony that the policies she supports benefit the rich and powerful seems lost on her. I still find it repulsive that she happily passes herself as an expert in demography (a PhD in child obesity does not make her a demographer) and that the media continues to give her a pulpit to preach the religion of migration from.

    • The real villain in this is a university (ANU) who has permitted someone without research demography credentials to pass herself off (in her own words on her profile page) as a “…a highly skilled demographer…” without so much as a whiff of peer reviewed academic record to justify this claim linked directly with ANU. Without a conspicuous record of publications in a particular field no academic can claim ‘expert status’. What is her metric – tweets? Why is she allowed to behave like this? Has humanities research now devolved to a level where no professional standards apply?

      Not only has a lack of a basic academic track record been ignored, but Dr Allen has shamelessly involved herself in promoting a partisan business and political agenda which is essentially undemocratic – the electorate has never been consulted about Big Australia and many of her claims are provably wrong or just opinion about wooly notions. Yet, she’s been elevated by the ABC as one of Australia’s top humanities academics, seemingly without any regard for what an ‘academic’ is supposed to do and the normative values they should abide by; peer review, independence, disclosure of a conflict of interest etc. She is a product of a university system that has lost its way.

      I would be far less concerned about Liz Allen if she had her fulminations peer reviewed. If we discourage back-cracking anti-vaxer chiropractors from making baseless claims from a uni platform due to the potential harms, when will ANU apply the same standard to social researchers?

      • my toranaMEMBER

        I’ll just put this here:
        Conversation with a demography professor friend from the ANU:
        me: but her PhD was on obesity, not demography
        friend: she used demographic techniques for her study.

        But otherwise I’m on board with MB re the hypocrisy and I haven’t otherwise cared to check her academic record.

        • Some time back I could not find her published thesis online – only a description of it. It may very well be that she has used demography techniques and even studied undergraduate material on the topic. But there is absolutely no area of academic research that I know of where you get to present yourself as an ‘expert’ in an area (Australian population demographics) unless you have a solid peer reviewed publication record in that field. As far as I can see that record is blank. Even if you were a freshly minted PhD in Australian population demography unless you publish your work in peer reviewed journals it does not make you an expert; that’s a very well accepted position. I took an interest in this as the nature of Dr Allen’s engagement via social media and the MSM as it has several features and characteristics that seem to link it to a wider ‘public relations’ campaign involving many of of the usual Big Australia suspects and well known industry players. My suspicion is that she is being used by some actors in a Big Australia PR campaign because of her readiness to shoot her mouth off.

          • Really?? Why are you all wasting so much time and space dissecting her credentials. We all know why she can pass herself off as an ‘expert’, because she says what ‘they’ want to hear. And what they want the MSM to report. Anyone who does this will be lablled an ‘expert’. End of story!

      • Once the elites had even infiltrated the ABC, it was all over for Australia.

        There should be a chorus for its reform or demise.

        • Spot on.

          I watched abc news Monday morning , summary: they are totally pushing this agenda, so wrong. There was an assertive woman spouting the 40b export industry of edumacation , 600k less warm turds and her caged beta male choud telling us how plebs like us don’t understand the investment model for higher research. And multiples of multiples all wrapped in the glow of Auntie. Facts ohh

          Seriously the overtones of doom and gloom without a return to mass flooding of warm turds was something else. Rip Australia … welcome EZFKAA

          And by the way , have you spoken with a University Graduate recently , drift the discussion to immigration, see how that goes and then tell me if there is a point anymore – the dumbshts still go on about PHON cause the J J J triple on the j on the triple j trIple Jjjjjjjjjjeeeeyyyy. More auntie kool aid

          • There’s some that are just clueless like Laura Tingle, and others who are just evil and know exactly what they’re doing.

    • If she’s got 7 kids then she’s failing in her number one duty as a patent which is to be the bank of mum and dad to a degree that really enables every child to buy a house. 20K each doesn’t cut it!

      Oh the cruelties of the harshness of reality😭😭😭

  5. Brutal stuff. Got to lift your marketing game though, should have tagged her in the MB tweet and thrown in a few #hashtags to increase readership.

  6. my toranaMEMBER

    Interestingly there is a bigger impact on houses than units….
    yeah, curious, until you’ve read mikemb and it’s all understood.
    More interestingly, lol, it struck me this morning that the relative quiet that we’ve had about not being able to leave the country for business or tourism has been accepted because people are quietly loving having the borders closed. wadda people reckon?

    • Less Woke More Bloke

      Much as I’d love to get back to Hawaii with the kids and start planning for a marmotte-etape double, truth be told we are loving spending time with the kids around our local hood

      Maybe there was an element of keeping up with the joneses with international travel for some, perhaps unbeknownst a to our good selves

      My grandfather quizzes my never ending desire to go to canadia chasing snow then Europe chasing bikes culminating in flying to LA in 2007 just to see RATM at Rock the Bells – “why can’t you save your money and just watch it in TV”

      • Interesting thought. I am dying to get back to Europe but if the deal was no more leaving the country in exchange for not one more footpath riding food delivery specialist or hobbling death staring granny, I’ll stay home. Throw in a collapse of the corrupt higher education sector and it’s a no brainer

    • All those elderly parents of migrants on perpetual Visitor Visas distort the market.

      There are Indian and Chinese households with 3 sets of adults pooling their money and living in the one house.

      Visitor Visas need to be scrapped.

      If you want to visit the grandkids in Oz – try a generous 90 day tourist visa or maybe don’t push your kids to emigrate.

  7. I haven’t read it all, but I’d guess she is funded by property building and is now pushing for social housing while her usual immigration push is temporarily off the table.

    Just another dishonest person pretending to be for the plebs while actually bending them over.

    • She needs to population ponzi driven by education imports to keep pushing up university profits so they can keep her employed. Not funded by property but tied at the hip to the same stimulus….

      • What’s driving her push for this though? That takes integrity. The opposite to what she’s pushing with immigration.

        A paradox.

      • I dont see the paradox, She only cares about immigration as it fuels the education ponzies profits, extremely profitable education means dodgy PHD’s stay employed…. She got the job as a Doctor of Demography ( with no more qualifications than being able to spell the word ) and needs to use demographics as justification for her position, but deep down its all about her income…

  8. ‘ Wasn’t it the RBA, by keeping interest rates so low for so long, that created the “bubble” in house prices? “It was a contributor,” Lowe concedes, “but not a prime contributor“ ‘

    Bull dust

    You can borrow $2,000,000 @ 3% costing $60,000 per year interest.
    You can borrow only $750,000 @ 8% costing $60,000 per year interest.
    You can borrow only $461,000 @ 13% costing $60,000 per year interest

    When the United States has serious inflation and they increase interest rates to 5% (mortgage rate 8%) to strengthen the US$ to remain the hegemon, the people who borrowed $2,000,000 must sell because they cannot afford $160,000 per year interest.
    Then the person buying the property from them(on similar income) can only afford a $750,000 loan for $60,000 per year

    Then we have a housing crash which the Governor of the RBA must take responsibility for.

    • Only problem with this comment, is that the US market is largely a fixed rate one. Existing borrowers are hedged (Homeside, not so much) but new borrowers will pay at the new rates.

      • It’s poor in Australia there is no 10+ year fixed rate mortgage market, seems to top out about 5 years

      • @sbinder
        When the US pushes rates up to protect the US$, our interest rates will also go up and then some.
        Australian interest rates for mortgages are mostly variable.
        I was talking about the RBA and Lowe.
        Get with it.
        (Delinquency rate in US is 6.88% btw)

    • US has fixed rate mortgages In the main, their variable is teaser rate then up to fixed. Here we are mostly on variable for the fixed at best 2-5 years

    • +1
      The rest of us have to be responsible for the results of our work, why not Stevens and Lowe… and Allen for her contribution.

  9. Mining BoganMEMBER

    I just hope someone has a camera on the day she waddles into work only to be introduced to a new Australian who is not only replacing her but doing it for a third of the pay.

    Fancy the guilt in knowing you’ve destroyed any chance of a fulfilling life for your umpteen children and not being able to afford the chocolate to bury your grief in.

    • Charles MartinMEMBER

      I genuinely lol’d because that could happen.
      Do we know who it was that foisted the good Dr Liz and her opinons onto an unsuspecting public, because I’d like to shake his or her hand

  10. She has 4, yes 4, daughters. Maybe a little bulb 💡 has started to flicker in her head as they get older, and she has to start imagining their future.

    • I genuinely grieve for her kids and many others. The most distressing aspect to me has always been what we are doing to our children in Australia. As a parent you always make mistakes, but in years to come realising that your ideological blindness has helped to destroy their opportunity in a profound way would be a burden almost too devastating to cope with. I really hope that someone like Liz Allen takes pause. If we are not working to make our kids lives better we have failed as a nation. Even anti-vaxers love their kids, but have allowed a selfish predisposition to blind them to their duty.

      • The slow but sure reversion to a modern day form of feudalism is why this Gen Y has decided not to have children. There is really no future for children today on the current political economic trajectory Australia is heading. The future is just too bleak.

  11. reusachtigeMEMBER

    She’s like me. She understands that boosted immigration is great for profits and that housing should be made more affordable to first home buyers by massive increases in first homer buyer subsidies. This should be at least 100k if not much more. Reduce or scrap to dole to achieve this!

    • Charles MartinMEMBER

      Picturing the good Dr Liz participating in some of the activities that you have alluded to over the years leaves me feeling somewhat confused. But, yeah, profits are profits.

  12. Aussie1929MEMBER

    We need more seats on public transport, the only way to fix that is to pack more people in public transport.

    • Charles MartinMEMBER

      Yep, we need moar Chinese built trains. Ones that are easily converted into cattle carts, preferably …

  13. A maxim that’s served me well in recent years is don’t believe or trust anyone with coloured glasses frames.

    It’s 100% reliable.

  14. Does she say anywhere in there that she thinks house prices should be lower?

    I think she is holding the same thought in her head as Scomo is. That is, we need to help people own homes but prices must keep increasing. And we all know what that means. More irresponsible lending anyone?

    And at the end of the day, she figures, well, I can help my own children out if need be.

    And a little bit of virtue signalling makes her feel a bit better.

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      She doesn’t take criticism well.

      I feel for her kids. It’s not their fault mum’s a moron but I hope she ends up homeless for a while just to see first hand the sort of damage she and her ilk have done to Australia.

      • blacktwin997MEMBER

        Right on, she could write more articles about reliving the glory days of her youth, sharing bin chicken with her own kids.

  15. Although I am open to counter evidence, the thing is despite being presented with counter evidence I doubt she will change her position on immigration.

  16. With 7 kids maybe she was looking at getting a bigger house and now the penny has dropped how insane house prices are?

  17. my toranaMEMBER

    She was back on PM this evening extolling the multitude of benefits of high immigration. Sounds like an addict withdrawing.

  18. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    She shits me. A key part of her message is ‘don’t be scared or fearful of mass migration’. Hypocrite.