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Housing: an elusive dream « Previous | |Next »
July 3, 2007

Though there seems to be little relief for housing affordability in sight, it is not a pressing election issue. House prices are increasing faster than the dual household incomes. That means greater mortgages and increased housing stress.This ought to be one of the crucial issues in the election campaign.

Michael McNamara, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, says:

Many Australian families are living on a knife's edge. Justifiably, we are far more fearful of our acute exposure to rising interest rates than ever. We will see more distressed sales. After all, if either partner loses their job or can't work for whatever reason, it will be game over. In mortgage belts, distressed sales are what sustain local real estate agents these days, and with more rises in interest rates predicted, this trend is expected to continue.

Australian households now spend twice as much on mortgage interest payments as they did in 1991.The consequences of 16 years of growth has seen soaring house prices have pushed home ownership out of reach.

Housing affordability, as measured by the Commonwealth Bank and the Housing Industry Association, has plunged 40 per cent since 1996. In this long boom of wealth and plenty, for the first time the average Australian household can no longer afford to buy the average Australian home.That has become an elusive dream.

The ALP's has released a discussion paper New Directions Paper on Housing Affordability whilst the states are calling for a big overhaul in housing policy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:44 AM |