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Kiwis, not migrants, putting pressure on NZ house prices, new research finds

Kiwis who change addresses are putting more pressure on housing prices, not migrants, according to new research.

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The study found there’s no evidence increasing immigration numbers pushed up the cost of homes. Source: Breakfast

The study by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research found there's no evidence to suggest that a rise in immigrant numbers pushed up house prices.

It found immigrants tend to live in larger households - a possible explanation for why they put less pressure on housing demand.

Due to data availability, researchers looked at figures up to 2013, but researchers said there is no reason to expect different results after that time.

Between 1986 and 2013, the number of foreign-born New Zealand residents more than doubled, whereas the New Zealand-born population rose by only 8 per cent.

Over the same period, the average real house price increased by about 140 per cent, the research shows.

"We find no evidence that a higher share of new (international) immigrants in an area is associated with higher house prices. We do, however, find rents are positively related to higher shares of recent movers," the report states.

The study characterised people by whether they are foreign-born or New Zealand-born, and whether they live in the same local area as in the previous census.