This comment was made at Macrobusiness (link may be locked – but there is a free trial available)
Was the surge in NOM simply a lot of students and ex- pats retreating home during the GFC?. Or was there actually a surge in the number of people being accepted for migration? Family reunion, skills, refugees etc?
People often speculate that if house prices decline the Fed Govt will just pump up migration. To what extent is there any evidence that this has happened or might happen.
In the absence of a credit boom economy it is seems more likely that rising unemployment would stymie any thought of using migration to prop up house prices.
The pollies are much more likely to prefer soft house prices than unemployment fuelled by migration.
It would be interesting to see if the research claiming a net benefit for migration allowed for the credit boom as a key driver main of low-ish unemployment over the last 15 years. In the absence of rapid credit growth rapid migration may not be feasible.
Sorry I wasn’t very clear in that sentence (ipad on moving train is my excuse).
I was curious as to the cause for the surge in NOM between 2006 and 2009. I recall reading that a lot of ex-pats headed back down under around the time of the GFC as jobs dried up overseas. In addition the end of the Howard government may have been the peak of the overseas student ‘education’ aka ‘cash for residency’ program.
But possibly they are not the reasons for the surge.
Those Irish figures are interesting and tends to confirm that rapid population growth may be more about credit booms.
In that case unless the RBA fires up the credit boom again a return to rapid population growth may be unlikely.
A relevant factor for housing demand.