Impact of Australia’s Stringent Migration Policies on the Real Estate Market - Property Inc

Impact of Australia’s Stringent Migration Policies on the Real Estate Market

Australia’s recent discussions on migration policies are having a noticeable effect on the real estate market, particularly within the rental and property search sectors among overseas prospects. According to Orana Durney-Benson’s article “How Australia’s migration debate is playing out in property listings,” there has been a decline in visa approvals which correlates with decreased overseas rental searches as of April 2024.

PropTrack’s Overseas Search Report for May 2024 highlights a decrease of 2.3 percent in overseas rental searches compared to the same period last year. Karen Dellow, PropTrack’s senior data analyst, noted, “While rental search volumes remain elevated compared to the preceding four years, there was a noticeable slowdown this April on a year-on-year basis.”

This downturn is particularly evident among potential renters from the US, Hong Kong, Singapore, and India, with the US experiencing the most significant drop of 10 percent. Only the UK, New Zealand, and China showed an uptick in searches. Dellow attributes some of these trends to the recent governmental mandates affecting international students. “Recent governmental mandates concerning students and educational institutions have led to a decline in visas granted to overseas students intending to study in Australia,” Dellow explained, emphasizing a drop of 9,060 international student arrivals compared to the previous year.

The implications of these policies are profound, as Dellow suggests they might lead to a more substantial decline in international interest if current trends persist. “If Australia adopts more stringent immigration policies, overseas buyers and renters may redirect their attention to more welcoming nations,” Dellow stated, highlighting the potential long-term impact on Australia’s appeal as a destination for overseas residents.

Interestingly, the situation contrasts slightly in the property buying sector, where there has been a marginal increase of 0.8 percent in searches compared to 2023. Despite this growth, the majority of the seven major countries involved saw a decline. The most sought-after locations for overseas property buyers were Queensland’s Gold Coast and Melbourne, with a particular interest in upscale apartments in major cities like Brisbane, Perth, and the Melbourne suburbs of Brighton and Richmond.

These trends illustrate the delicate balance between immigration policies and their economic impacts, particularly in sectors as vital as real estate. As Dellow aptly puts it, “The forthcoming months will provide further clarity on these trends,” suggesting that both the market and policymakers should watch these developments closely.


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