Strong population growth fuelling housing demand: HIA

by Adam Smith30 Dec 2013
Australia's population growth means there is still a strong underlying demand for housing, an industry group has claimed.

The Housing Industry Association has pointed to ABS figures that show Australia's population grew above the long term average in 2013.

"The figures show Australia's population reached 23.13 million in mid-2013, having added over 407,000 people in the year to June 2013. This is equivalent to a growth rate of 1.8 per cent over the year which is well above the long term average," said Geordan Murray, HIA Economist.

Natural population increase was 2.6% higher than the previous year, while net overseas migration increased by 8.6%.


"With our population ageing and the baby-boomer generation progressively moving into retirement, Australia's workforce must continually be replenished. Healthy levels of skilled migration, such as we are currently observing, will become increasingly important if we are to see the productivity improvements that will deliver sustainable advances in living standards," Murray said.

Murray said overseas migration was expected to continue to drive population growth, with ABS projections anticipating net overseas migration of 240,000 a year. Murray claimed housing was not keeping pace with growth.

"The latest data shows Australia's population has continued to grow at an above average pace and official projections show this is expected to continue. To date there has not been any commensurate boost to the supply of new housing. It is time for policy makers to acknowledge the imminent policy challenge that this situation poses," Murray said.

COMMENTS

  • by VivKay 31/12/2013 8:53:11 AM

    There's nothing organic or natural about our population growth. Why the surprise that more houses are needed? Our population growth rate is manufactured in Canberra, and is driven largely by net immigration levels, due to a policy and set immigration levels. There's nothing democratic about it, and there's few parameters that are considered except a calculation of GDP growth. GPD has become totally inadequate, and deceptive. The countries with the highest GDP per capita are the smaller countries with higher living standards. Germany and Japan have stable or declining populations but thanks to productivity have a high GDP. First priority should be living standards and high standards of sustainability, not gross GDP growth.

  • by NIMBY 11/01/2014 7:27:45 AM

    Our above average rate of population growth is not largely due to fertility levels (natural growth) that have been below long term replacement levels since the 1970s. What's increasing is immigration, silently without debate, due to bipartisan support for "growth" in GDP by population growth. The aim of "big Australia" is shared by most political parties, and many people have vested interests in housing profits.

  • by Terry Grigg 12/01/2014 1:51:04 AM

    Why do you present population growth as a positive? Australia already has enough people crammed into narrow coastal strips and what it really needs is population reduction. As VivKay says above it should all be about sustainability and quality of life, not GDP growth and ribbon development.