Housing crisis: Beyond reach, beyond hope

Housing costs skyrocket

Housing crisis: Beyond reach, beyond hope


By Mina Martin

The Property Council of Australia has released a report highlighting the alarming gap between the cost of new housing and what Queenslanders can afford.

As the state’s population grows and the housing crisis deepens, urgent policy changes are necessary to ensure safe and affordable housing for all Queenslanders.

The updated research, originally published in 2007, predicted a dire housing crisis without long-term solutions. Now, 17 years later, the crisis has intensified, especially in South East Queensland.

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Queensland housing affordability crisis

The Property Council report indicated that detached housing is unaffordable for many essential workers in South East Queensland, with home units only marginally affordable even on a double income. Renting is often the only option, if a suitable property can be found.

House prices have outpaced household incomes in South East Queensland since 2007, driven by rapid population growth and insufficient supply.

Affordable housing, defined as housing costs being 30% or less of household income, is nearly non-existent in South East Queensland, particularly for younger households.

Property Council’s key policy levers

The original report highlighted three key policy levers, and a fourth has now been added:

  1. Improve development assessment: Streamline and fast-track applications to deliver more homes faster.
  2. Ensure adequate land supply: Increase competition and move away from restrictive land use planning policies.
  3. Coordinated delivery and funding of infrastructure: Plan and fund essential infrastructure transparently.
  4. Review taxation settings: Address the prohibitive tax settings that drive up costs and deter investment.

Taxation changes

The Property Council report called for a fundamental shift in regulatory and taxation approaches to address systemic issues.

Since the October 2022 housing summit, several initiatives have been introduced, but taxation settings remain unchanged despite their significant impact on homeownership and investment.

The reliance on property-related fees and charges, which make up more than 38% of the state’s taxation revenue, highlights the dependency on property to fund the state’s budget.

The report concluded with a call for the newly formed government, post-October state election, to commit to a thorough, evidence-based review of taxes and charges impacting home delivery and investment.

The report emphasised the critical role of both industry and government in shaping policy settings that surpass political cycles. Without learning from past mistakes and implementing bold changes, the housing crisis will worsen.

“Rising homelessness, acute mortgage stress, rental shortages, and a concentration of housing wealth in the hands of a shrinking proportion of the population are the inevitable consequences of further failures to act,” said Jess Claire, Queensland executive director at the Property Council.

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