25 Jun 2013

Migration set to top 10,000 for year

7:03 am on 25 June 2013

Increasing numbers of migrants into New Zealand are adding further fuel to the hot spots in the housing market, Auckland and Canterbury.

The Government Statistician says the country gained more net migrants in May than in any month since January 2010.

There was a net gain of 1,700 migrants which took the net gain for the year ending May to 6,200 people, a sharp turnaround from the net loss of 3,700 people in the previous year.

However, the only regions to experience net gains in migrants were Auckland, Canterbury and Otago.

Canterbury accounted for more than 40% of the net annual gain with 2,600 people settling there compared with its net loss of 2,500 people the previous year in the wake of the most damaging February 2011 earthquake.

Westpac economist Felix Delbruck said the growing numbers of migrants will impact the housing market but the biggest stimulant at the moment is still very low mortgage rates.

However, Mr Delbruck said the annual growth in net migrants looks set to reach at least 10,000 people by the end of this year.

Roughly 12000 people per year has been the average migration over the past couple of decades.