The majority of Australians believe there is a shortage of affordable housing in their local communities, a new report by the Property Council of Australia has found.
The report, which combines community sentiment and a suite of data, showed that 81% of Australians believe there is a shortage of affordable housing in their area, and that housing affordability is the second biggest concern among respondents followed only by the cost-of-living.
Mike Zorbas (pictured above), CEO of the Property Council of Australia, said these results showed how Australians were feeling the effects of years of inaction.
“We can’t afford another decade of failure,” Zorbas said.
“Australia is home to property companies that lead the world in sustainability and resilience metrics. Now is the time to put that global expertise into action here at home, by delivering the housing choices for our growing needs, and lifting Australia off the bottom of the affordability ratings.”
The Property Council’s report, titled A stark reality: Part one in a thought leadership series on housing choice and affordability for a growing Australia, also found that 45% of Australians believe the government should provide incentives for developers to build more affordable housing for key workers, and 40% believe that more townhouses and duplexes should be built to increase housing stock.
Additionally, half of all renters were revealed to be renting only because they have no other option, with a third believing they won’t be able to purchase a home in the next five years.
The Property Council’s report pointed to the lack of proper population growth planning as the primary driver to the housing affordability crisis.
Potential solutions outlined in the report include giving the government’s Housing Supply and Affordability Council the power to scorecard and rank the states and territories based on their housing supply efforts, and boosting the supply of retirement living, student accommodation, and build-to-rent housing.
“The pandemic brought the huge value of skilled migration to our economy into sharp focus, which perhaps explains why people are less concerned about population growth as a negative driver, and are now more focused on the role planners have to play in providing the choice and affordability Australians deserve,” Zorbas said.
“If you are senior Australian who wants to expand their quality of life in a retirement village, a student who wants a community conveniently based near their place of learning or a family who seeks the improved security of tenure that comes with build-to-rent housing, you need governments at all levels to make investment in these options as affordable as possible.”
Demographia’s International Housing Affordability 2022 report ranked all of the major city markets in Australia as “severely unaffordable,” with Sydney being the second-least affordable market among 92 surveyed and all five Australian capitals falling in the worst 20 for affordability.
The Property Council of Australia’s report was launched at an event in Parliament House, Canberra with federal Minister for Housing Julie Collins and the newly appointed Zorbas in attendance. It is the first in a series of reports focused on three key pillars of choice, affordability, and planning for a growing Australia.