Why future housing demand could drop

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Population growth has stalled, which could dent future housing demand.

New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Australia’s population increased by just over 396,000 new residents over the 2013 calendar year, down 9,300 from the annual period ending June 2013.

RP Data research director Tim Lawless said population growth statistics serve as an important indicator of housing demand.

Lawless said population growth has been winding down since mid-last year, though at 1.7% per annum, it remains well above average. 

On a state-by-state basis, NSW has seen the largest increase, followed by Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Both NSW and Victoria also saw a healthy upward trend in overseas migration, but WA and Queensland are seeing dwindling numbers of overseas migrants. Lawless put the decrease down to the slowdown of the resources sector. 

Overall, Lawless predicted a slowdown in population growth could impact future housing demand.

“With population growth winding down we can expect some further easing of housing demand, both from a sales and a rental perspective," sais Lawless. 

"The slowdown seems to be most pronounced in the mining states of WA and Qld where population growth conditions have previously been the strongest."

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