The latest demographic statistics estimated that Australia's annual population growth had slowed to a near decade low of 316,000, although it is worth noting that the last six months of available data have understated natural population increase in New South Wales and Victoria due to a lag in data processing.
One of the economic benefits of a lower dollar is conveyed by the chart below, with annual short term arrivals surging by 7 per cent over the past year to a record 7.3 million, while short term departures appear set to arc lower as steadily more Australians opt to holiday at home.
International students lift-off
Where to now?
With the relaxation of visa rules in the higher education system and a strong push from Universities for greater access to post study work visas, the above DIBP forecasts expect that eventually there will come a huge surge in net immigration related to student visas.
In terms of what this might mean for the actual immigration of students measured from December 2014 forth: we could potentially see net immigration of an extra half a million international students before the decade is out. Lower than previously projected, but still huge.
Reserve Bank research showed that unsurprisingly "student migrants will be likely to demand housing that is close to universities, city centres and other amenities rather than on the fringe of cities".
Most will rent, at least initially, so the forecast arrivals of hundreds of thousands of student migrants raise interesting question marks about the widely predicted supply overhang of apartments.
Even with the revised student figures the latest quarterly forecasts from the DIBP projects net immigration to increase steadily again from 2016, while if the student visa floodgates open as previously forecast then there is upside potential for population growth.
The projected inflow of international students comes at a time when APRA has poured cold water on the investor sector of the property market.