Australia's rates of population growth are continuing to soften, which has a knock-on impact to vital supply-and-demand dynamics in the residential property market.
According to Geordan Murray, senior economist at the Housing Industry Association, Australia’s population grew by 1.6 per cent over the year to June 2018, which is down 1.7 per cent over the same time last year.
During this time, Victoria saw the largest rise in population growth, up by 2.2 per cent, followed closely by the ACT which also recorded 2.2 per cent, and then Queensland which rose 1.7 per cent.
Next was New South Wales at 1.5 per cent, Tasmania at 1.1 per cent, Western Australia at 0.8 of a percentage point and South Australia at 0.7 of a percentage point.
The Northern Territory was the only state or territory to record a population decline over the last year, declining by 0.1 of a percentage point.
“A falling contribution from net overseas migration was the main factor behind the decline. Growth due to overseas migration was down by over 26,000 people in 2018, which is 10.1 per cent less than in 2017.
“Australia needs more skilled workers to sustain ongoing economic growth. Given Australia’s aging population, attracting skilled workers from overseas has become increasingly important," Mr Murray said.
Mr Murray added that the migration decline was due to the federal government increasing the difficulty for skilled migrants to enter the country while the economy “is losing is competitive edge”.
“Australia’s migration policy has become less welcoming at the same time as the opportunities in other parts of the world have improved,” he said.
“Over the last twenty years Australia has been very successful in attracting skilled workers to our shores. This has been an important factor underpinning our record run of continuous economic growth.
“If we are going to extend this run of growth then migration will have a huge role to play.”