Labor’s record-high immigration levels are worsening Australia’s housing crisis – with a peak homelessness group now calling for even more new homes than planned.
In the year to August, 413,530 permanent and long-term migrants arrived in Australia.
If existing trend continued, the net annual figure could surpass 500,000, hitting a new record.
This would be far higher than Treasury’s forecast of 315,000 new arrivals for this financial year covering skilled migrants and international students, made in the May Budget.
But during the last financial year, only 168,231 private homes – covering houses and units – were built, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this month showed.
Labor’s record-high immigration levels are worsening Australia’s housing crisis – with a peak homelessness group now calling for even more new homes than planned (pictured is a Sydney rent queue)
With Australian homes having an average of 2.5 people in the 2021 Census, that would be enough to house 420,578 people.
That is well short of Australia’s total population growth of 563,200 for the year to March covering net immigration and births minus deaths.
Homelessness Australia chief executive Kate Colvin is calling on the federal and state governments to build 50,000 social and affordable homes a year over a decade, in a submission to the government’s National Housing and Homeless Plan.
This is far higher than the $10billion Housing Australia Future Fund’s promise of 30,000 new social and affordable over five years.
‘The structural failures and policy gaps, especially in housing affordability and support for vulnerable people, are pushing more people into a strained system,’ Ms Colvin said.
Homelessness Australia argued 500,000 new social and affordable homes within a decade could solve homelessness, along with more generous Commonwealth Rent Assistance.
The e61 Institute’s research manager Nicholas Garvin said strong population growth pushed up house prices, especially when homes were in short supply.
‘Housing demand in Australia tends to constantly grow due to population and income growth, which itself pushes up prices when housing supply does not keep up,’ he said.
In the year to August, 413,530 permanent and long-term migrants arrived in Australia (pictured are new houses at Oran Park in Sydney’s outer south-west)
But during the last financial year, only 168,231 private homes – covering houses and units – were built
‘Supply sceptics may be observing these rising prices, alongside supply that is rising but not as fast as demand, and not realising that prices would grow even faster if supply did not grow at all.’
But if population growth outpaced supply, prices would continue growing, especially in Sydney.
‘All postcodes experienced positive price growth over this period, so many people would have observed rising prices while housing supply was growing,’ Mr Garvin said.
Sydney house prices have grown by 8.1 per cent during the past year to $1.381million despite 12 Reserve Bank interest rate rises since May 2022, CoreLogic data showed.
The big influx of international students has also caused an 18.2 per cent annual surge in unit rents to $672 a week, SQM Research data showed.
Sydney’s rental vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent in September was tighter than the 1.5 per cent level of a year earlier.