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Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Migrants, jobs, housing

Cause an' effect

Lots of discussion about immigration is to be expected in the lead up to the Federal election, and as the Australian population clock approaches 25 million in the coming days. 

It's interesting to note that the locations where immigrants have mostly been moving to are also by far and away the strongest labour markets in the country. 

The construction boom in Melbourne is all set to push unemployment in Victoria down to below 5 per cent too, joining New South Wales which is already at 4.7 per cent. 

In fact, the construction pipeline in Victoria is so immense that I believe Melbourne will be the strongest economy in the country for years to come. 

Another benefit to these cities is that the immigrants have mainly be younger than the median age, with visa requirements tilted towards those under the age of 30. 

It's easy to be anti-immigration and blame migrants for traffic congestion and so on.

But Sydney and Melbourne also have dynamic economies unlike much of the rest of the country right now.

Cause or effect? 

It's hard to say.

But having lived in cities where the population is growing and a city/region where the population ebbed away for year after year, I know which dynamic is preferable...and it ain't the latter!

Incidentally, the younger age of migrants is a positive input for housing market demand in Sydney and Melbourne. 

The Census confirmed a tremendous decade-long surge in the cohort typically representing the first homebuyer age, which will in time stoke demand for inner-suburban apartments in these cities.

Thanks to immigration Greater Sydney and Melbourne have a much younger median age at 36 than cities such as Adelaide or Hobart at 39.