Surging property prices highlights need for urgent housing intervention

Everybody's Home

An expansion of social and affordable housing is urgently needed to avoid a fresh housing affordability crisis as new figures confirm Australia is in the middle of a new real estate boom.

According to the latest CoreLogic report released today, Sydney home prices surged by 3.7 per cent in March, the fastest monthly rise in 33 years.

There were similar increases across the country with property prices jumping 2.4 per cent in Melbourne and Brisbane, 1.5 per cent in Adelaide and 1.8 per cent in Perth.

Prices have increased by 3.3 per cent in Hobart in the past month, 2.3 per cent in Darwin, 2.8 per cent in Canberra and 2.8 per cent nationally.

This growth is pushing affordable housing further out of reach for everyday Australians.

Everybody’s Home – a national campaign to end homelessness – said spiralling prices would hit both aspiring buyers and renters and expansion of social and affordable housing was badly needed.

“More social housing would better balance the housing market, creating more options for those who can’t participate in the boom. Higher house prices fuelled by cheap money will lead to increased costs in the rental market, worsening affordability,” national spokesperson Kate Colvin said.

“Higher house prices increase the pressure on landlords to increase rents, especially over the medium term. The best antidote to this is to create more social and affordable housing.”

According to the latest National Shelter Rental Affordability Index, there are currently no dwellings affordable in the private market for households in the lowest income quintile. (ie. $220 or less per week).

While there are some homes affordable to households in the second bottom quintile (i.e. at no more than $355 per week), the homes are increasingly unavailable to these households as they are being occupied by higher income earners.

“This is only going to get worse with the end of JobKeeper and the reduction of JobSeeker this week, plus the deadline for mortgage deferrals passing yesterday.” Ms Colvin said.

“We’re now bracing for what could be the biggest economic shock since the pandemic itself and by promising to build more social and affordable housing, the Federal Government can secure our future and prevent an intergenerational housing crisis from worsening.”

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