You are here

Senate Housing affordability inquiry 2015

Submission to Home Ownership Inquiry (House of Reps)

"Home ownership is a means to an end. It is not necessary for all people in all places. What all people want is housing affordability, security, and autonomy. A place they know they can come to, where they are in control of their own lives, which can be arranged to best serve their interests, tastes and lifestyle, and which will not enslave them financially. It is these values which have been so steadily undermined in Australia over the past decade in particular.

In some European countries like Germany, only about half of all households own their home. Many people have cited them, in an effort to wean Australians off their preference for ownership. However, the situation here is very different to that in Germany. There, tenants have substantial rights protecting their tenure and enabling them to decorate and to a certain extent modify their abode. Most importantly, the housing market is not inflating, so there is no expectation that rents will outstrip inflation into the future." (Dr Jane O'Sullivan) [1]

Housing Affordability Senate Inquiry Report just released - Comments and submission by Robert Braby, economist Editor: Article updated with full submission included and relabeling of table. The Commonwealth Senate released its long-awaited report on housing affordability on 8 May last, conveniently a few days before the release of the Federal Budget. The 461 page report examined, inter alia, the many supply and demand factors which impact on housing prices and affordability, and acknowledged that supply was not keeping up with demand – an obvious and major cause of rising house prices. But the emphasis of its recommendations was that the solution lay in increasing supply rather than in reducing demand. The elephant in the room, namely population growth, although mentioned in several submissions, hardly featured in its recommendations. This is not surprising, given the reluctance of politicians to face up to the obvious but politically awkward issues of immigration and birth rates, especially with the high level of influence exerted by vested business and property interests (including the recently revealed large number of politicians who own investment property).

Subscribe to RSS - Senate Housing affordability inquiry 2015