The cost of housing and renting in Australia has become a significant barrier for new arrivals, as documented by a recent survey that indicates a staggering 82% of Australians view these prices as a major issue. This outlook is especially prevalent among South Australians and Queenslanders, with 89% and 85% respectively expressing concern. These sentiments reflect a broader unease amongst the general population, with 80% of the younger generation, encompassing both Gen-Z and Millennials, anxious that the rising cost of living poses a considerable obstacle for newcomers.
The concerns stem from a nationwide survey conducted by the advisory platform Immigration to Australia, which engaged an independent, representative panel of over a thousand Australian residents. The survey aimed to discern public opinion regarding the most and least desirable aspects of life in Australia for immigrants, amidst increasing migration rates and a deepening skills shortage. The South Australians and Queenslanders are notably troubled by exorbitant property price increments, aligning with dramatic median house price hikes in cities like Adelaide and Brisbane.
“The house and rent crisis ranks among the nation’s worst aspects, particularly troubling for South Australians and Queenslanders due to rapid-fire property price growth,” stated Alon Rajic, the Founder and Managing Director of Immigration to Australia. He further added that for Victorians, the issue of property and rent prices shares equal concern with the cost-of-living pressures, each chosen by 80% of survey participants.
This issue is notably poignant for the older population, with 88% of those over the age of 55 identifying the housing and rental situation as a top concern, a higher rate than their younger counterparts. Addressing the stress placed on middle-aged Australians, Alon said, “As all Living Cost Indexes have risen by up to 9% over the 12 months leading up to September 2023, we see that middle-aged Aussies are particularly sensitised to the sheer expense of living in Australia, impacting new arrivals.”
Isolation and distance seem to resonate more with older Australians, as the survey noted that two-thirds of respondents over 55 found Australia’s geographic isolation as a significant downside for migrants. Younger Australians, however, highlighted their concerns about Australia’s perceived delay in innovation and availability of products.
Conversely, when focusing on the positives, respondents across all age demographics acknowledged Australia’s healthcare system, food quality, and climate as the leading attractions for immigrants. However, perceptions varied between age groups and states concerning the weather and societal values, illustrating generational differences in what is valued in Australian life.
The full survey report is available at the Immigration to Australia website, offering a detailed perspective of Australian public opinion on immigration and settlement challenges and attractions.