immigration line
Image – Canva.
  • The migrant cap has been increased from 160,000 to 195,000
  • Visa processing will see a $36 million boost to deal with backlog
  • PIPA Chair Nicola McDougall has concerns about housing for increased migrants with the rental vacancy rate at just 1%

The property industry has responded to the federal government’s announcement that the permanent migration cap will increase from 160,000 to 195,000.

Additionally, visa processing will receive a $36 million boost to facilitate the new intake and the current backlog.

The announcement came during the second day of the Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra, and comes as there are more job openings than unemployed Australians.

It also comes as Australia recorded a brief decline in its population during the pandemic due to virtually no migration and a declining birth rate. The current birth rate in Australia is just 1.66 births per woman.

“Based on projections, this could mean thousands more nurses settling in the country this year, thousands more engineers,” said Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil at the summit.

Ken Morrison, Property Council of Australia (PCA) Chief Executive, said the move was welcomed given the country is facing a skilled work shortage of around half a million.

“As companies struggle to fill job openings across the country, returning to normal levels of migration is desperately important in powering our economy,” Mr Morrison said.

“Population growth is one of the nation’s big economic engines, so it is pleasing to see the government lift the migration cap and invest resources in dealing with visa backlogs to help build a stronger pipeline of skilled workers.

“No other short-term project has the potential to be so effective in addressing the skills crisis in the short term.”

Where are the migrants going to live?

The Property Investment Professions of Australia (PIPA) has welcomed the increased migration intake given the skills shortage, but says the critical question should be where are the migrants going to live.

“According to SQM Research, there was a grand total of 36,741 rental vacancies across the entire country in July as well as a national vacancy rate of just 1%,” said PIPA Chair Nicola McDougall.


“The latest ABS Lending Indicators also show a drastic reduction in investor activity, with the value of new borrower-accepted loan commitments for investors falling 11.2% in July, after a fall of 6.3% in June.

“PIPA is interested to hear the government’s plan on how it intends to provide housing for about 200,000 new migrants in the next year, when there currently aren’t enough rental properties to house our resident population.”

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