NZ Migration gain hits five year high

November 25, 2009

The annual net migration gain reached its highest figure in five years, as the global financial crisis caused a fall off in the number of people leaving. Figures just published by Statistics New Zealand show the net migration gain at 18,600 for the year to October, the highest annual figure since August 2004. The 86,700 permanent and long-term (PLT) arrivals last month was down just 700 or 1 per cent from a year earlier, while the 68,100 PLT departures was down 14,900 or 18 per cent. ASB economist Jane Turner said the pick-up in population growth has been fuelling demand for housing over the past 6 months. "As departures remain low, the supply of housing available for sale has remained below average, creating very tight conditions in the housing market. Combined with low interest rates and a recovery in confidence, house prices have started to pick up substantially over the past few months." For the month of October, PLT arrivals exceeded departures by 3000, compared with 1500 a year earlier. The number of monthly PLT departures fell by 2000 or 35 per cent, including 1800 fewer departures to Australia, and 200 fewer departures to Britain. A net inflow of 1300 migrants came from Britain in October.