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
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