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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Coleman & John Landon-Lane, 2007. "Housing Markets and Migration in New Zealand, 1962-2006," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2007/12, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2007/12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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.
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    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Coleman, 2010. "I Squeezed in and squeezed out: the effects of population ageing on the demand for housing," Working Papers 10_01, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    2. Sarah Drought & Chris McDonald, 2011. "Forecasting house price inflation: a model combination approach," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2011/07, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    3. Funke, Michael & Kirkby, Robert & Mihaylovski, Petar, 2017. "House prices and macroprudential policy in an estimated DSGE model of New Zealand," Working Paper Series 6354, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Leung, Charles Ka Yui & Shi, Song & Ho Tang, Edward Chi, 2013. "Commodity house prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 875-887.
    5. Chris Bloor & Troy Matheson, 2010. "Analysing shock transmission in a data-rich environment: a large BVAR for New Zealand," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 537-558, October.
    6. Andrew Coleman & Grant Scobie, 2009. "A Simple Model of Housing Rental and Ownership with Policy Simulations," Working Papers 09_08, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    7. José Francisco Bellod Redondo, 2011. "Detección de burbujas inmobiliarias: el caso español," Contribuciones a la Economía, Grupo (Universidad de Málaga), issue 2011-05, May.
    8. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    9. Tugrul Vehbi, 2016. "The macroeconomic impact of the age composition of migration," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Notes series AN2016/03, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    10. Nijkamp, P. & Poot, H.J., 2012. "Migration impact assessment: A state of the art," Serie Research Memoranda 0009, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    11. Steven Stillman & David C. Maré, 2008. "Housing Markets and Migration: Evidence from New Zealand," Working Papers 08_06, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    12. Samuel M. Otterstrom, 2015. "Income Migration and Home Price Trajectories in the United States," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 18(2), pages 277-302.
    13. O'Connor, Peter & Stephenson, John & Yeabsley, John, 2012. "Grow for it - How population policies can can promote economic growth," NZIER Working Paper 2012/1, New Zealand Institute of Economic Research.
    14. Julie Fry, 2014. "Migration and Macroeconomic Performance in New Zealand: Theory and Evidence," Treasury Working Paper Series 14/10, New Zealand Treasury.
    15. Jed Armstrong & Chris McDonald, 2016. "Why the drivers of migration matter for the labour market," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Notes series AN2016/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    16. Nicholas Sander, 2013. "Migration and the housing market," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Notes series AN2013/10, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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