If you’ve read the news lately, you might have seen stories on the cost of housing in Australia and calls for it to be more affordable. This is because owning a home is becoming more of a nightmare than a dream for many Australians.
For would-be first home buyers and lower income households, the likelihood of ever being able to afford to buy seems ever distant. For those that can get in to the market, many are faced with crippling debt.
There are a range of challenges facing Australia. Ensuring that there are enough affordable houses and units to meet demand is a big one. So too is enabling home buyers to compete on a level playing field with investors. Tax arrangements such as negative gearing are a big part of the story.
Then there is geography. Australia is a nation centred around a few large cities. Within these cities, the range of housing options and access to jobs, transport and services varies widely. Being able to afford a house that is hours from where you work doesn’t really do much for your quality of life.
So it remains that Australian housing is unaffordable, at least where most Australians want to live.