Figures released today by the National Housing Supply Council show that Australia’s housing crisis continues despite steadying house prices.
The report Housing Supply and Affordability – Key Indicators, 2012 shows that the housing shortage in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory has worsened, with Victoria narrowing, but not closing, the supply gap.
“Yet another report has confirmed that our housing system is failing” said Australians for Affordable Housing campaign manager Sarah Toohey.
“Households in the Northern Territory and New South Wales are feeling the burden of this housing shortage in ever-increasing rents and house prices.
“The number of properties available and affordable to low income households has decreased by 66,000 since 2007, taking the total shortfall to 539,000 properties. This is double the shortfall reported in the 2008 State of Supply report. This shortage of affordable and available rental properties makes it even harder for low income earners to keep a roof over their head”.
“Over the decade to 2011, rents across the country have risen 81 per cent, house prices 87 per cent and earnings just 58 per cent.
“We hear a lot of talk about falling house prices and a troubled housing market, but in our capital cities, house prices are still eight to nine times average earnings. Indeed the National Housing Supply Council report shows that house prices are at or above pre-GFC levels.
“Our housing system is broken and we cannot simply cross our fingers and hope the market fixes itself.
“The current housing shortage means that young people are locked out of home ownership, making it harder for them to start a life, and driving up prices in the rental market.”
“As renting becomes ever more expensive, low income households continue to be squeezed onto the fringes of our cities where there are fewer jobs and services. This makes it harder for businesses to get workers, and harder for workers to get jobs.
“If we care about the fairness and productivity of our cities we must fix our housing system.
“We need concerted government action at every step in our housing system, from home ownership to renting to public and community housing, to make sure everyone can get housing they can afford”.
Australians for Affordable Housing is calling for a National Housing Plan to bring together all levels of government to fix our housing system.
Media contact: Sarah Toohey, 0427 563 989. Follow AAH on Facebook at www.facebook.com/housingstressed and Twitter: @housingstressed