Despite evidence of a slowdown in immigration across many parts of Australia, we recently saw immigration accelerate to a 4-year high.
The main population growth is being seen particularly in Melbourne, and in Sydney.
And now it’s getting faster.
In February, permanent and long term arrivals soared to 103,570, the single biggest month on record.
Meanwhile, long term departures fell to just 30,080, resulting a net intake of 73,490 in a single month, which puts the high volume of apartment construction in a different light.
Of course, immigration can dry up or even turn negative when the outlook turns bad, but for now population growth is absolutely hammering along.
It may seem odd that the monthly intake just hit a record high given weak employment figures.
But remember that most immigrants head for New South Wales and Victoria where the economies have been performing relatively well, and jobs vacancies have been highest.
Smoothing the permanent and long term immigration figures over the last year shows only an apparently small spike.
However, caution should always be urged when using these numbers from month to month, not least because overwhelmingly the “long term” departures from Australia have historically returned to Australia within a year.
There has been a very sharp drop in the number of permanent settlers from New Zealand and the United Kingdom in recent years.
The big numbers are now hailing from China, and especially India, with a crunching 2,330 Indian settlers in February.
The number of settlers from North Africa & the Middle East has also comfortably more than doubled over the past year, reflecting a quietly increased humanitarian intake.
Record visitors, many from China
Perhaps the less well understood side of the equation is the huge number of short term arrivals to Australia, which tore to another record in February at more than 8.36 million.
There has been a substantial uplift in the number of visitors from America and India, but the real driver has been another record surge in visitors from China.
Lunar New Year straddled January and February this year, but looking at the original data over the three months to February an unprecedented 525,500 visitors from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong graced Australian shores.
Finally, I’ve been blathering on since 2015 about how international students will ultimately become the main driving force of migration into Australia.
And check out the number of education arrivals in February at 123,900, by far the biggest month on record and more than 30 per cent higher than a year ago.
International students largely hail from China, and many are expected in time to become Australian residents on sundry visa types.
Think I’ve posted more than enough here for a day or two, but my population growth versus dwelling completions models show that the oversupply of apartments in Melbourne…well, it basically isn’t.
In Sydney the story is a little different, in that supply has been playing catch up, but with a record number of dwellings under construction right across the state in 2016 the balance is swing sharply as 2017 rolls on.
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