Grattan: Mass immigration has locked Aussies out of housing

By Leith van Onselen

Earlier this month, Dr Bob Birrell and Dr Ernest Healy from The Australian Population Research Institute (APRI) published an excellent report explaining the deleterious impact Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy has had on housing affordability in Sydney and Melbourne.

Now, Bendan Coates, research fellow at The Grattan Institute, has admitted that mass immigration has forced up the cost of housing in Australia, thereby contributing to Australia’s housing affordability crisis:

Mr Coates said while migration did put upward pressure on property prices and rents, due to increased demand, this would not be a problem if enough homes were built.

“The evidence over the last decade is that we’ve struggled to do that. It is likely the rate of migration has pushed up house prices and rents. To a degree it’s adding housing affordability pressures in Australia,” said Mr Coates.

“We estimate you need 450 to 550 new homes for every 1000 new residents in Australia. NSW is only just meeting that level, it’s producing just over 500 homes per 1000 residents,” he added.

As usual, the Grattan Institute refuses to address the issue at its source – by arguing to lower immigration – and has instead suggested that a lack of housing supply is the problem. This is ridiculous. The fact of the matter is that Australia is building more dwellings than ever:

However, this supply is being overrun by extreme immigration-driven population growth, which is projected to continue indefinitely:

Most of this migrant influx has inundated Sydney and Melbourne, where housing costs have escalated:

With both cities’ populations projected to balloon to more than 8 million people mid-century:

The policy solution is staring you in the face, Mr Coates: reducing immigration back to the historical average of 70,000 people a year would completely eliminate the ‘lack of supply’ that the Grattan Institute constantly complains about. It’s hardly rocket science.

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