Australian Migration System More Successful Than Canada

I read an interesting article published in The Embassy (Canada), titled ‘The Keys to Australia’s Immigration Success’ and I thought I shared it with the readers of this blog. Some of the experts quoted in this brief report have pointed out some of the key flaws in the Canadian immigration system which has left Canada well behind Australia in its gains from skilled migration. Flexibility, timely changes in the laws and efficient processing of migration applications are some of the key factors behind the Australian success. These are also exactly the factors have hurt the Canadian aspirations of staging a successful talent hunt from abroad and thus, losing out to Australia. The experts have called upon the Canadian government to learn from the Australian experience to improve the migration system and clear its flaws. The article can be read in full here: http://www.embassymag.ca/html/index.php?display=story&full_path=/2008/october/1/immigration/

Australian Mortgage Market Update

Although Australia has been least affected by the international financial crisis that seems to be deepening by the day, the government seems to be cautious about its financial markets as the housing prices have come to a standstill or even slump in recent months, less and less people are able to afford a house, rents tend to be soaring due to increasing demand propped up rather high immigration (according to recent news on average over 1000 persons enter Australia as permanent residents each day !) and the stocks are showing clear correlation with the international stock markets. Mortgage market has been a cause of particular concern for the government because less and less people have been borrowing in Australia lately despite a cut in the interest rate last month (Experts believe more rate cut is on the cards !)

According to latest developments, the government of Australia has announced that it would invest four billion dollars (3.32 billion US dollars) in the mortgage market in response to the global credit crunch. The move is aimed at making the banking and financial system even stronger and be ready to weather any kind of storm that may be coming due to ongoing financial crisis around the world, particulary the US. Australia, as largely believed, is not entirely immune to the crisis but is believed to be well capable of ducking its lasting impacts.

On the housing front, while house prices have dropped considerably in the last twelve months, experts tend to disagree on the actual housing market future in the next one year or so. While some believe that because of the ongoing mortgage and financial crisis and partly because house prices have been artificially inflated in some parts of the country, a housing market crash is on the cards, others believe that given the continued high demand for housing, the property market will not experience a free fall, specially in the face of low supply that has been spurred by declining credit facilities and its impact on ongoing development projects. 

However, in an excellently written article I ready recently, Robert Gottleibsen, who calls himself a mere journalist but has certainly a profound understanding of the economic indicators, argues that the financial crisis, tough credit borrowing and lending market will eventually hit the developers and thereby the housing market on the whole and despite the high demand, housing prices will tumble. He compares 2008 with 1987 when the property market crashed as a result of similar circumstances. However, he does concede that because there is no glut in the housing market, the impact will be not as hard as in 1987. He believes that because Bush’s 700b dollar package for the rescue of the economy has been defeated by the American politicians, the impact is likely to be more than the previously estimated 10-15 percent drop in house prices in the next one year.

I personally believe that these are cautious times. Those are looking for a deal in housing, might be better off waiting a bit. Let the economy stablize a little and then make a wise investment decision.

Housing Woes in Australia

Apparently, Australia is going through the most difficult period in its housing history. The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that Queensland has the highest homeless population in Australia. The figures show more than 26,000 people were homeless in Queensland in 2006.  Mission Australia spokesman Tony Stevenson says thousands more are homeless now. He says rapid urban sprawl has reduced the amount of affordable housing across the state. Soaring rent prices in mining towns like Mackay and Mount Isa are also a major reason. The report shows the Queensland’s homeless population rose by 2,000 in five years and that more than half of Australia’s homeless are under 24 years of age. (see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/09/05/2356036.htm?section=justin)

The situation is not any better in terms of housing affordability. Prices have been particularly soaring in Western Australia lately because of the population boom (influx of population from other parts as well as migrants to the state due to its booming mining and energy industries). In fact, Perth has become the most expensive city for housing after Sydney and if the trend continues, it may just beat it by 2010-11.  Median price for a small house in Perth today is around 480k which is way too high for any ordinary Australian, let alone the new migrants. Similar upward pressure on prices have been witnessed in other parts of Australia, which have gradually made housing, a basic facility taken for granted in the vast lands of down under in the past, a challenge to many.

Past couple of months have witnessed a clear slow down in the property market in many places throughout Australia, including western Australia because people are increasingly unable to afford housing due to soaring prices. Lowering of interest rates by  the government down to 7 percent is likely to boost both the demand as well as borrowing for the construction. However, experts believe that this is too little, too late and more aggressive cuts in the interest rates should be made to boost the economy and the housing sector. 

In a market where demand has been outpacing the supply, increased investment in the housing sector is what should the government be aiming at.

Over 100 Kiwis pack up for Australia daily

A net 1,009 New Zealand residents emigrated in March 2008 to Australia in what has become popularly known as Cross the Ditch or Trans Tasman migration. While it is a good trend from inflation point of view in New Zealand as it brings downward pressure on sales, NZ authorities are not happy with the trend as they see it has brain drain.

According to stats, 106 New Zealanders left each day for Australia in the last year, while 121 left each day in March 2008, being the highest average rate of emigration to Australia since 2001. The biggest individual source of migrants to Australia has been Britain with 6,894 in the year to March 2008, down from 10,235 the previous year. The next biggest contributor has been India with 4,159, almost double the 2,536 the previous year. The Philippines was also a big mover, increasing to 3,262 from 2,714 the previous year. South African net migration increased to 2,129 from 1,597.

One read a great deal about the inherent rivalries between the Kiwis and Australians in exactly the same way as English and French or Indians and Pakistanis. One wonders how the Australians feel about such large of Kiwis entering their country, obviously for economic reasons, and how welcomed or unwelcomed the Kiwis feel in their new home across the ditch.  Their experiences must make interesting read. Comments and thoughts are welcome on such experiences and also what type of professioanals or people tend to migrate from NZ the most.