Housing markets and migration: evidence from New Zealand
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New Zealand's large and volatile external migration flows generate significant year-to-year fluctuations in the demand for residential housing. This paper uses population data from the 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006 New Zealand Censuses, house sales price data from Quotable Value New Zealand and rent data from the Department of Building and Housing to examine how population change, international migration, including the return migration of New Zealanders abroad, and internal migration affect rents and sales prices of both apartments and houses in different housing markets in New Zealand. Our analysis focuses on the relationship between the changes in the population in local areas and changes in house sale prices and rents in these areas. Focusing on changes allows us to control for time-invariant unobservable characteristics of local areas that either attract or repel individuals and lead to differential costs of housing.
Motu Working Paper 08-06