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Futurology - Immigration

In 2001 Australia decided to grow the population as a means of dealing with the looming growth in retirees. The policy is ongoing and is forecast to remain in place for the next two decades. Australia’s population growth is currently the strongest in the world, beyond any other in the history of the country.


The Australian population is expected to increase to around 36 million people. This means Melbourne and Sydney both become the size of London and Brisbane becomes the size of Sydney – all in just 35 years.

So, who is able to join the ‘lucky country’? Recent number show 88% of migrants to Australia were aged under 40 years and around 54% of migrants were aged between 15 and 29 years of age. By far and away the largest intake of immigrants are skilled workers – replacing the skills lost through retirees; supplementing skills  and; doing the roles that are becoming increasingly difficult to fill.  .

To accommodate Australia’s forecast population growth requires a housing construction boom, not just now but for decades to come.

Both Melbourne and Sydney need to build another 1.5 million dwellings over the next 35 years. This translates into roughly 500,000 house and land packages, 500,000 townhouses and units and 500,000 apartments. 500,000 apartments equates to over 14,000 apartments built every year for the next 35 years in both Melbourne and Sydney.

The impact on commercial property is just as profound. Demand for office, industrial and retail will continue to grow.

To learn what’s next for increasingly populated cities, contact Tony Crabb, National Director, Research.

Read more of Cushman & Wakefield’s Futurology series, click here.