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Migration and the housing affordability crisis

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-04, 05:20 authored by Birrell, Bob, Healy, Ernest
The decline in housing affordability in Australia has coincided with a sharp rise in net overseas migration. The coincidence has prompted speculation that the two phenomena are causally related, as well as denials from some politicians and developers that any such relationship exists. This article provides projections of household formation which indicate the likely contribution of overseas migration to household growth for Australia’s metropolises. It then assesses the role that migrant demand for housing plays in housing affordability outcomes. It concludes that this role is important, particularly in Sydney, where around half the growth in households is attributable to overseas migration and where there are severe geographical and planning constraints on housing supply. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s


Date originally published



People and place, vol. 11, no. 3 (2003), p. 43-56. ISSN 1039-4788

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