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Jan 23, 2012

Australia’s housing remains more unaffordable than UK, USA

As economists tell the Australian Government to ready for another round of economic stimulus, Australians for Affordable Housing (AAH) has called on State and Federal Governments to make creating more affordable housing a national priority, following the release of the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability survey of 325 housing markets.

The survey classified Australia as having no affordable markets in 2011, with the majority of those markets classified as ‘severely unaffordable’.

AAH Campaign Manager Sarah Toohey said housing was the biggest cost of living issue in Australia and this report was further evidence of the need for proactive Government action on this issue.

“Australia has the worst housing affordability of any national market outside of Hong Kong which is a terrible indictment and shows just how serious this problem is.

“The survey classified Melbourne and Sydney as ‘severely unaffordable’, with the cities median price 8.4 times and 9.2 times the median income respectively.

“Although Australia’s national unaffordability ratio reduced from 6.1 times in 2011 to 5.6 times this year reflecting a slight fall in house prices, we must not ignore the fact that this still leaves Australia’s housing as ‘severely unaffordable’.

“This makes it the right time for Governments to prioritise spending on affordable housing, and prepare a stimulus plan focussed on social housing, in anticipation of further economic problems in Europe.

“Social housing spending was the unheralded success story of the last stimulus package.  It didn’t just keep builders employed but delivered massive social benefits to some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged people.

“By contrast the boost to the first home owners grant simply supported house prices at record levels delivering a boost to those vendors who sold rather than providing benefits to renters seeking to get into the market,” Ms Toohey said.

Australians for Affordable Housing is a coalition of national housing, welfare and community sector organisations to highlight the problem of housing affordability in Australia.

Spokesperson: Sarah Toohey, 0402 677 566
Media enquiries: Stephanie De Campo, 0432 828 004

Follow AAH on Facebook and Twitter: @housingstressed

  • John Greer

    As it has been stated on this site (I agree) , the extremely unaffordable prices for housing have been manipulated upward by state governments and surely by the real estate industry . Vested interest on both ends ? The govts must have sat down and calculated where the votes are at one stage …. And what revenue must surely be coming in with this driving up op prices . The real estate people ? Do I need to say anything ?

    Are these prices really good for Australia ? Ask the person , especially the 20-30 year olds that want to buy a home to live in . One of the basic necessities of life have been allowed to be speculated on and manipulated heavily…. To the extent that a large majority is struggling with mortgages and rent. Their living standards are severely reduced by just paying for their accommodation.
    So: people that bought 10-15-20 years ago now feel almost like real estate gurus, and wealthy because the the house is now worth ,say $950.000. They bought it in 1993 for 140.000. Good for them.
    They did not do anything though to make those bricks worth so much more. Other factors , including widespread greed and vested interest did the job for them.

    One would think the job and duty of a politician is to improve the lot of his/ her people/country. Permitting and in fact open manipulation of the price of a basic essential for life helping the Australian public? Only for a while.
    Then… After the politicians and real estate people of that time are long gone and wealthy…. The new generation finds crap flats for 500K, and that’s the minimum for flats …..and houses in outer areas for 600K+ plus. They also find that their buying power has NOT increased nearly as much as housing.

    Some layers of society would tell us that it’s a free market and too bad you haven’t bought “when “it was cheap. Housing should never be so unaffordable that even the so called cheaper areas become unaffordable for a police person, nurse , bus driver….an average Aussie. Those people now if not already “flush with cash” will borrow on average $400.000 to get into the ” market” .

    Is this all good ? Let it happen? It’s a free market yes?
    It’s a dog eat dog market for sure ….

    It’s our own stupidity and greed as Australians that brought us to this point in our ” lucky country ”

    Good luck to us all… The real estate moguls and to the people of our lovely country that struggle to have a home to live in and also live .



  • John Greer

    John Greer on 9/05/2014 8:44:22 AM
    Oops, I left a savvy and entrepreneurial group out of the Property Boom-loop. The Property developer.
    They do provide a service, yes. At what cost though? Forever growing profits are imperative for the property developer. With our conditioning about money and money making one could say there is nothing wrong with making a profit. Unfortunately those never ending and forever growing profits will cost someone else… Namely the future generations. We don’t seem to have a better system or the willingness and intent by which housing would be created and provided affordably.
    Housing has turned into a prestige item , to be talked about at parties.

    Politicians and developers are working together , and are in each others pockets in this game of real estate , and each side doing their best to keep the hype, and the “boom “alive as long as possible. A donation here and a quick development approval there… Easy.
    The intent is to make as much money as possible . The other side of the coin : The lucky country is ” lucky no more ” for more and more Australians.
    We are blinded by the dollar signs when our veryfriendly real estate agent informs us how much our property is $ That blindness is making us put ethics and good intent aside en mass … Rents double and triple in 3 years for a lot of people. Why? Because the landlord can. …..

    You get the picture.

    Is this all good and fair?

    Thanks for reading


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