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Biggest population surge will underpin hot property markets

Australia’s population is now almost 24.7 million following its fastest rise in nine years according to recently released ABS figures.

Victoria experienced its fastest annual population growth since 1960 – up 2.43 per cent.

NSW population rose 1.6 per cent last year underpinning increased demand for extra infrastructure and housing.

Source: ABS; Corelogic

A lot has to do with migration

The growth of Australia’s population is comprised of natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net overseas migration.

As you can see from the following graphic a dramatic increase in net overseas migration was the primary driver of population growth most of which has headed to NSW (read Sydney), which has absorbed more than 90,000 immigrants over the past 12 months.

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Victoria added more than 80,000 new immigrants.

Source: Corelogic

State by State breakdown

Positive population growth occurred in all states and territories in the year ended 31 March 2017.

  • New South Wales 7,837,700;
  • Victoria 6,290,700;
  • Queensland 4,907,600;
  • South Australia 1,721,000;
  • Western Australia 2,576,000;
  • Tasmania 520,100;
  • Northern Territory 245,000; and
  • Australian Capital Territory 409,100.

Victoria recorded the fastest growth rate of all states and territories at 2.4%.

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The Northern Territory recorded the slowest growth rate at 0.1%.

But, as they say, there’s more….

A recently release report from UBS suggests that population growth only tells half the story.

While the ABS only measures permanent residents, UBS suggests it’s really  “people growth” which takes into account net short-term arrivals for education and employment that matters.

On that measure, Australia’s “people growth” is at a record high of 3.5 per cent.

Source UBS and Fairfax

The bottom line:

Over the last year decreasing affordability, APRA’s macro prudential controls and changing sentiment stalled the property boom experienced in Sydney and Melbourne, but their strong population growth, and in particular the large proportion of new migrants who are usually at the household formation stage of their lives, will underpin their property markets.


Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.