Why Sydney and Melbourne could end up housing 1.1 million more people by 2027
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Sydney and Melbourne could together end up housing 1.1 million more people by 2027 as immigration grows at a faster level than predicted.

The Treasury Budget papers forecast 1.5million permanent and long-term residents moving from overseas in the five years to June 2027.

But net overseas migration levels this year have been higher than forecast, with 429,580 moving to Australia in the year to September.

That intake of permanent and long-term arrivals is higher than the 315,000 predicted for the 2023-24 financial year.

At the present rate, 500,000 people are likely to have moved to Australia in 2023.

Dan Tehan, the Opposition’s immigration spokesman, said that at the current growth pace, 1.87million people, instead of 1.5million, could end up moving to Australia in the five years to 2027.

Sydney (Town Hall train station, pictured) and Melbourne could together end up housing 1.1 million more people by 2027 as immigration grows at a faster level than predicted

Sydney (Town Hall train station, pictured) and Melbourne could together end up housing 1.1 million more people by 2027 as immigration grows at a faster level than predicted

That would mean 562,049 more people in Sydney and 564,180 new overseas residents in Melbourne – together adding up to 1.12million people in Australia’s two biggest cities that are each already home to more than 5million residents.

‘Australians who can’t find a place to live or are struggling to pay multiple rent increases will be asking Labor: where will all these people live?’ Mr Tehan said.

‘Labor say they don’t want a big Australia but judge them by their actions, not their words.’

The influx of international students, classified as long-term arrivals, is also pushing up rents, with Australia having an ultra-tight rental vacancy rate of one per cent. 

Melbourne’s median house rent has surged by 19 per cent during the past year to $703 a week, SQM Research data showed. 

In September, 45,090 international students arrived in Australia, marking an annual 26.8 per cent increase, based on 9,540 more foreign students.

They made up the vast bulk of the 55,590 arriving in the country in September to stay for at least a year, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.

Over the year, Australia housed 764,120 new long-term arrivals and just 291,740 long-term departures.

The net increase of 472,380 was in fact higher than the net overseas migration level of 429,580 covering both permanent and long-term arrivals.

A record 664,178 international students came to Australia in a year — up 306,259 or 85.6 per cent since Labor was elected in May 2022.

AMP deputy chief economist Diana Mousina said the government could slash the number of international students to take pressure off inflation, even though Treasury is forecasting net overseas migration slowing to 260,000 in 2024-25.

‘While the same pace of population growth is unlikely to be repeated in the next few years, the challenging inflation environment and the decline in Australian living standards from negative per capita GDP growth means there is a case for the government to assess its temporary visa intake,’ she said.

Dan Tehan, the Opposition's immigration spokesman, said that at the current rate, 1.87million people, instead of 1.5million, could end up moving to Australia in the five years to 2027

Dan Tehan, the Opposition’s immigration spokesman, said that at the current rate, 1.87million people, instead of 1.5million, could end up moving to Australia in the five years to 2027

AMP deputy chief economist Diana Mousina said the government could slash the number of international students to take pressure off inflation (pictured is the University of New South Wales in Sydney)

AMP deputy chief economist Diana Mousina said the government could slash the number of international students to take pressure off inflation (pictured is the University of New South Wales in Sydney)

While Australia isn’t technically in recession, it is suffering from a per capita recession, where gross domestic product shrunk in both the March and June quarters.

Productivity levels also shrunk by 3.6 per cent during the last financial year. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released new forecasts, predicting the national population growing from 26.5millon in 2023 to between 34.3million and 45.9million people by 2071.

Government agencies, however, haven’t had a great record of predicting population growth with Treasury in 2022 forecasting Australia’s population would reach the 25million milestone in 2042 – that occurred in 2018.



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