Property groups love Australia’s high immigration


Online property listings company REA Group posted revenue of $334 million for the March quarter, which is 24% higher than previously.

EBITDA rose by 30% to $177 million, while revenue rose by 20% year-on-year in first nine months of 2023-24.

CEO Owen Wilson remarked that Australia’s property market remained strong in the March quarter, noting that demand among home buyers is healthy while record prices are boosting the confidence of vendors.

Moreover, with high immigration levels, a shortage of housing, and higher rental prices, Wilson believes that the good times for the property market will continue.


“I think if you if you went back a year and looked forward, we weren’t predicting this level of strength”, Wilson told Sky News’ Ross Greenwood.

“I think it’s underpinned by a couple of things. I think it’s the record low unemployment we’ve seen continuing through. People have still got jobs”.

“I think the other factor that’s come into play here is the record levels of immigration that we’ve had”.

“We do have a chronic shortage of housing in Australia. We need a lot more construction of every type of property whether it be house and land and apartments”. 

“Even the property market itself is contributing to inflation. Rent forms a big part of the CPI calculation”

“Rents have been going up strong double digit due to that lack of supply. And so that’s kind of becoming a circular problem in that rents are going up, which causes inflation to go up, which may cause interest rates to go up”, Wilson said.

While record net overseas migration is lining the pockets of industry players like REA Group, it is forcing up rents and creating misery for tenants.

Capital city asking rents

According to Owen Wilson, this strong rental growth is keeping CPI inflation high, forcing the RBA to maintain higher interest rates for a longer period of time.

But who cares, right? It’s all good, so long as Big Property continues to print profits.

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.