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Housing Markets and Migration in New Zealand, 1962-2006

This paper uses a structural vector autoregression model to analyse the relationship between migration flows, housing construction and house prices in New Zealand. It shows that a net immigration flow equal to one percent of the population is associated with an approximately 10 percent increase in house prices. This size of this relationship, which has existed since the 1960s, is an order of magnitude larger than would be expected from the average change in the population and house prices in the long term. One explanation is that migration flows occur at times when locals are changing their demand for housing because of revised expectations about future income growth. A second explanation is that migrant flows have a destabilising effect on agents expectations about the fundamental value of houses. While the paper cannot satisfactorily distinguish between these two options, the results suggest that monetary policy can still be used to dampen the house price changes that occur at times when migration flows are unusually large.

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File URL: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/discussion_papers/2007/dp07_12.pdf
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Paper provided by Reserve Bank of New Zealand in its series Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series with number DP2007/12.

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Length: 60 p.
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2007/12
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Web page: http://www.rbnz.govt.nz
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  1. Markku Lanne & Helmut Lutkepohl & Pentti Saikkonen, 2003. "Test Procedures for Unit Roots in Time Series with Level Shifts at Unknown Time," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(1), pages 91-115, February.
  2. P.N.(Raja) Junankar & David Pope & Glenn Withers, 1998. "Immigration and the Australian Macroeconomy: Perspective and Prospective," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 31(4), pages 435-444.
  3. Albert Saiz, 2003. "The impact of immigration on American cities: an introduction to the issues," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q4, pages 14-23.
  4. Albert Saiz, 2003. "Room in the Kitchen for the Melting Pot: Immigration and Rental Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 502-521, August.
  5. James A. Berkovec & John L. Goodman, 1996. "Turnover as a Measure of Demand for Existing Homes," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(4), pages 421-440.
  6. Denis Kwiatkowski & Peter C.B. Phillips & Peter Schmidt, 1991. "Testing the Null Hypothesis of Stationarity Against the Alternative of a Unit Root: How Sure Are We That Economic Time Series Have a Unit Root?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 979, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Saiz, Albert, 2007. "Immigration and housing rents in American cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 345-371, March.
  8. Graham Elliott & Thomas J. Rothenberg & James H. Stock, 1992. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," NBER Technical Working Papers 0130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jacques Poot, 2005. "Measuring the Economic Impact of Immigration: A Scoping Paper," Population Studies Centre Discussion Papers dp-48, University of Waikato, Population Studies Centre.
  10. Arthur Grimes & Andrew Aitken & Suzi Kerr, 2004. "House Price Efficiency: Expectations, Sales, Symmetry," Urban/Regional 0408001, EconWPA.
  11. Christopher A. Sims, 1982. "Policy Analysis with Econometric Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 107-164.
  12. DiPasquale Denise & Wheaton William C., 1994. "Housing Market Dynamics and the Future of Housing Prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-27, January.
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