Australia was classified as severely unaffordable in a recent ranking of housing markets across the world, with Sydney finishing as the second worst market in the planet after Hong Kong. According to the 12th
Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for the last quarter of 2015, homes in regional Australia are now less affordable than New York and London.
In order to be classified as affordable, median house prices should be less than three times the median income. However, house prices in Sydney were 12.2 times the median salary. Melbourne was at 9.7 while Tweed Heads in NSW was at 9.3.
"Australia has a serious housing affordability problem and it's got worse," said Hugh Pavletich from Performance Urban Planning. "Housing is at crisis level."
According to Pavletich, urban containment or consolidation policies are one of the reasons for Australia's housing problems. Places with more affordable housing do not allow local authorities to control the supply of land, so developers can quickly respond to market changes and supply when needed.
Proper infrastructure financing is also a big problem. Developers directly finance infrastructure expenses for new Australian homes, which are passed onto the buyer through their mortgage. This adds tens of thousands to the price tag, thus making Aussie housing even less affordable.
South Australian Senator Bob Day said, "If the Federal Government is serious about housing affordability, it would override the state governments."
"Fixing our housing problems would be a piece of cake compared with $50 billion spent on submarines. It's not an economic or structural problem, it's a political problem," he added.
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