Sunday, October 30, 2005

Kareena Ballard (REI President) outlines a plan to improve housing affordability

Kareena Ballard outlines a plan to improve housing affordability - On Line Opinion - 6/10/2003

"While there are some indications that the upward trend may be starting to slow, urgent answers are needed to address the increasingly tough market conditions for first homebuyers and low-income earners.

Deterred by rising prices and the consequent large mortgages and income required to service these loans, however, a significant sector of the Australian community may be unable to become home-owners unless governments, state and Commonwealth, take housing affordability seriously. Others may not be able to commence home purchase until so late that they continue to have substantial mortgage debt into retirement.

In addition, a number of economic and social changes in Australian society are making it more difficult for Australians to purchase their own homes, including the changing employment profile in Australia, later and second family formation, divorce, greater longevity and changing consumption trends supported by unprecedented levels of household debt."

To this list I would add more and more singles in the market, estimated to continue to increase as a social trend by the ABS, whereas the housing 'market' prices even 1 bedroom apartments to a double income.

Regarding Kareena's policy suggestions, and adding to the list, I have indicated the direct control and policing of housing prices in a protectionist way. After all, the Valuer-General already happily values every single house there is, it therefore can't be too hard to add another level of control over pricing with very few extra resources required.

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