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Housing affordability crisis questioned before election

The Government’s lack of solutions to the problems of housing undersupply and affordability are being called into question ahead of Saturday’s federal election.Housing Construction

The problems with housing undersupply and affordability were made clear in this year’s second annual report by the National Housing Supply Council. The report found that underlying demand continues to grow and is projected to increase to 11.8 million in 2029 and that the gap between demand and supply will continue to increase unless there are changes to demand and/or supply levels.

The findings of this report have spurred Mortgage Choice CEO Michael Russell to call for urgent and effective government action.

“Australia has serious blockages in its land and dwellings supply pipeline. This must be cleared if we are to start to get on top of the undersupply problem that continues to stress housing affordability,” said Mr Russell.

“Firstly, an immediate and significant improvement is required in the planning approval and development assessment process. This remains fundamental to delivering the required supply of dwellings and land to satisfy present and future demand. These processes currently result in far too much time wastage, frustration and costs for developers and builders.

Mr Russell also calls for the government to review, with the aim to reduce, property related taxes and charges.

“The gap between underlying housing demand and total supply increased to a shortfall of 178,400 dwellings throughout 2009 and has been estimated to increase further to 308,000 by 2014. Given that housing supply has a direct impact on housing affordability for homebuyers and renters, both issues should be addressed in conjunction with the initiatives already undertaken,” said Mr Russell.

Mr Russell declared that how these issues are to be dealt with will be closely observed.

“Homebuyers, renters and all those gainfully employed in the building and finance industry continue to watch and wait for any election promises specifically made to address the above.”

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Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke

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