Housing in Australia's cities is some of the most unaffordable in the world, and it's well past time for the federal government to step in, the Australian Greens said today.
The latest Demographia international housing affordability study released this week shows our five largest cities are ranked severely unaffordable. Sydney is ranked 2nd worst in the world, and Melbourne 4th.
It found 45 out of 51 major metropolitan centers in Australia are either 'seriously' or 'severely' unaffordable, and that rate of unaffordability is accelerating at an alarming pace. The house-price to income ratio in Sydney increased an unprecedented amount in the last 12 months, but this trend has been happening for over a decade.
"Two years in to the Liberal government term we have nothing but cuts to the housing portfolio, and the same predictable calls to release more land by the housing lobby. The last thing we need is for state governments to use this as an excuse to line the pockets of developers seeking to create even more sprawl in our cities. We should not be pushing people entering the market to the far peripheries of our cities," said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Spokesperson for Housing Senator Scott Ludlam.
"Urban regeneration, and our response to this housing affordability crisis, is a no-less vital part of Nation Building than bridges and railways.
"The award-winning Transforming Perth report, developed by the Greens in conjunction with the Property Council of Australia and the Australian Urban Design Research Centre, clearly demonstrated that there was already room in our urban areas, along existing transport corridors, that could accommodate over 200,000 new dwellings.
"Our report specifically found over 1500 hectares of underdeveloped land already zoned as urban along seven of Perth's future transit corridors, which translated to a housing yield of between 90,000- 250,000 new dwellings at medium to high density scenarios.
"This can all be done without destroying remnant bushland while adding to urban greenways.
"The Minister for Cities should urgently commission and implement the recommendations from this type of study in every capital city in the country, starting with the least affordable, Sydney," Senator Ludlam said.
"Talk from Mr Turnbull and Mr Hunt is cheap. It's time they took real action to make housing less expensive.
The Transforming Perth Report is at http://greenswa.net.au/assets/transformingperth-report.pdf
The 12th Annual Demographia study is at http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf