Crossing the Tasman: Why are Kiwi’s returning to Australia?

New Zealand and Australia have very strong links. Whether you like it or not, the reality is the Kiwis are like trans-Tasman cousins to us. We hold history intertwined through the ANZAC legend; a fierce sporting rivalry and a lot of cultural similarities throughout our societies (not to mention we claim all of their celebrities as our own).

Just like Australian’s, those from across the pond also love using property to create wealth. Over the last financial year, housing made up over a third of Kiwi’s investments – the highest share of total investment in 45 years.

Despite holding all of these parallels, until recently, there has been a negative number of migrants crossing the Tasman. Depicted in blue is the amount of New Zealand residents leaving Australia, while yellow reflects those arriving. For the first time since 2005, New Zealand residents are arriving in droves and staying for the long term. After continually making a net interstate loss from 2009-2015, the two statistics have reached parity – signalling a shift in the population flow of New Zealand residents into Australia.

Source: Stats NZ


There are a number of reasons why a population migrate between two populaces – whether they be economic, political, cultural or just for the climate, population flows are created by either push or pull factors. So, let’s look at why New Zealanders are returning to Aus.


Residents are being pushed out of New Zealand by increasingly strained affordability throughout the country’s housing market. Over the last 7 years, Auckland (a city which holds almost a third of New Zealand’s population) has seen it’s median house price double – now fluctuating around an eyewatering $1million, according to data provided by CoreLogic.

Auckland is now on average 52% more expensive than the NZ median, creating an environment similar to Sydney’s premium housing market. With average wage growth (depicted in blue) struggling to keep up with housing costs and rental rises, real estate is becoming increasingly challenging for first home buyers to secure. Consequently, many Kiwi residents are opting for Australia’s cheaper markets as a more affordable alternative.

Source: RNZ



Meanwhile Australia has had one of the strongest periods of economic growth in history, with some calling our nation “recession proof”. Regions such as Melbourne and Brisbane have extremely strong jobs growth, pulling many towards our major cities. Currently, Melbourne holds an unemployment rate of 5% (recognised as full employment) and Brisbane holds an infrastructure pipeline of $21billion, representing major potential for the trade and engineering industries.

Australia is an attractive country that appeals to populations across the globe. Our stable economy and appealing lifestyle work as a magnet for hundreds of thousands of new residents every year. With Australia holding a population that promotes cultural diversity, we will likely see similar migration stories from countries interested in Australia for years to come. Australia ‘s macro markets will benefit from these culture’s, including those from New Zealand. With this heightened population growth, will come the inherent demand for property – now marks an exciting time to be invested in Australian property.

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