Perth housing crushed under population avalanche


If you want a textbook example of why housing policy is broken in this country, look no further than the below Sky News segment on Perth’s housing market:

The segment opens by explaining how Western Australia’s Health Minister is in India on a mission to recruit more than 5,000 healthcare staff to fill shortages across the state.

The state government is also lobbying the federal government for more immigration.

The segment then laments how Perth’s rental market is in crisis, with a rental vacancy rate of only 0.4%:

Rental vacancy rate

This has led to people advertising a garage with a mattress for $300 rent a week.

All of which brings us back to the following explainer diagram summarising Australia’s housing ponzi in action:

Housing explainer

Western Australia’s population is currently growing like a science experiment via record net overseas migration:

WA population change

This has driven a wide gap between housing demand via population growth and supply:

WA dwelling construction versus population change

As a result, house prices are surging across Perth, leading the nation:

PropTrack home values

So too are Perth rents, which are also leading the nation:

CoreLogic rents

Source: CoreLogic


The deliberate immigration actions of the state and federal governments have created Perth’s housing shortage, which is creating misery for renters and aspiring first home buyers.

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.