MEDIA RELEASE: Major parties ignore causes of housing affordability crisis

MEDIA RELEASE: Major parties ignore causes of housing affordability crisis

Sustainable Australia’s Senate candidate in Victoria, Georgia Nicholls, says the big parties have no intention of addressing the causes of the housing affordability scandal, which sees young Australians locked out of home ownership in their own country.

Ms Nicholls says, “Our immigration intake is currently over 200,000 per year, almost triple the long term average of 70,000. 

“And last year the Foreign Investment Review Board processed almost 37,000 applications by foreigners to purchase residential properties[1].

Proposed foreign investment in the country’s residential real estate market surged to $34.7 billion in 2013-14, up from $17 billion in the previous year, according to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)[2].

China topped the list of real estate approvals, with $12.4 billion, twice that of the United States. 

Ms Nicholls says, “Excessive immigration and record foreign real estate purchases are the major factors driving housing purchase prices further and further out of reach, and particularly for young Australians”.

Australia’s five major metropolitan areas, remained “severely unaffordable” in 2015. Among the nine developed nations covered by the 12th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey[3], Australia was ranked the third most unaffordable major housing market in 2015.

The Economist magazine estimated that Australian house prices are overvalued by more than 30% as of Q3 2015[4]. Melbourne’s residential property prices surged by 9.9% during the year to Q3 2015. This is unrelated to the strength of the Australian economy, which was estimated to have grown by only 2.4% in 2015.

“Only Sustainable Australia has the answer. It’s a ban on foreign purchases of residential real estate, and lower immigration, back to the long term average of 70,000 per year” says Ms Nicholls.