Population growth helps housing market

3 News

New Zealand had its highest annual net migration gain in nearly five years during the 12 months to August, figures published by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) today show.

The gain in population was seen as helping the recovery of the housing market.

Global financial turmoil was thought to have lifted the number of New Zealanders returning after living overseas, as well as reducing the numbers seeking to live elsewhere.

In the year to August, New Zealand’s net migration gain was 15,600, up from 4900 in the August 2008 year, and the highest annual net gain since the November 2004 year, SNZ said.

The 87,500 people arriving on a permanent and long term (PLT) basis was up 800 or 1 percent on a year earlier. At the same time, the 71,900 PLT departures were down 9900 or 12 percent on a year earlier.

For just the month of August, PLT arrivals exceeded departures by 1600, compared to 500 a year earlier.

There were 2000, or 29 percent, fewer PLT departures last month, including 1800 fewer departures to Australia and 200 fewer to Britain.

PLT arrivals for the month were down 900 from August 2008, with 1000 fewer arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens, partly offset by 200 more arrivals of New Zealand citizens, SNZ said.

PLT arrivals of non-New Zealand citizens had been declining since April.

Seasonally adjusted, PLT arrivals exceeded departures by 1600 in August, down from 2400 in July, but similar to the level in June.