Record immigration breaks housing market


On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released monthly arrivals and departures data, which suggests that net overseas migration (NOM) into Australia continues to break records.

Over the September quarter, there were 145,550 net permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia. This was a record for a September quarter and more than double the 69,640 that arrived in the same quarter of 2022:

Quarterly net arrivals

Over the year to September, there were a record high 429,580 net permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia:

Net long-term arrivals

There has historically been a strong correlation between the ABS’ monthly net permanent and long-term arrivals figures and Australia’s official quarterly NOM, which is released with a six-month lag:

Australian net migration

The ABS also released preliminary monthly visa data to October, which shows that net visa arrivals remain at turbo-charged levels; albeit have moderated slightly from their peak in July:

Net visa arrivals

The above data is obviously catastrophic for Australia’s housing market, which is already suffering from a record low rental vacancy rate and soaring rental inflation:

Rental vacancy rate

Source: CoreLogic

Record numbers of migrants are landing in Australia at the same time as actual housing supply has collapsed to around decade lows:

Housing supply and demand

The upshot is that the housing crisis will worsen, sending more Australians into severe financial stress, and forcing many into group housing and homelessness.

Never before has a federal government inflicted so much pain in such a short amount of time.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.