Can Sydney’s housing affordability be fixed in five steps?
Australia has ranked as one of the least affordable countries in the world for housing again – but solutions are on the way. Demographia’s 2017 report ranked Australia third behind Hong Kong and New Zealand for unaffordable housing, largely driven by price hikes in Sydney and Melbourne.
Of course, that’s nothing new. Anyone who’s tried to secure a home loan in the last five years would understand the issues with many east coast housing markets. But what about solutions?
The Property Council of Australia (PCA) has come to the rescue – in a sense. It has released a five-point plan it believes can address affordability in New South Wales, if the government will adopt it.
Five points to fix it all
Jane Fitzgerald, NSW Director for the PCA, says the five-point plan has already been delivered to the Reserve Bank and the New South Wales government. She believes the following steps will go a long way to helping struggling buyers:
- Reform the planning system to increase land and housing supply
- Cut red tape, property taxes and fees
- Increase cooperation between Federal, State and Local Government departments
- Provide more support to first home buyers
- Increase innovation in the rental market
Now, that’s a lot of buzzwords without many tangible measures. But, as Fitzgerald notes, the PCA does have a full report outlining what the NSW Government can specifically do to make sure it achieves these goals.
Items like less stamp duty, a higher level of housing supply and more FHB support will certainly be music to the ears of buyers who are yet to get onto the ladder. CoreLogic RP Data’s monthly indices show the median house value for Sydney is still above the $1.2 million mark – something has to be done to make buying easier.
Give yourself every advantage you can
Of course, this is a proposal put to the government – it’s far from concrete. For now, anyone struggling to make a property purchase has to wait and see. That is, unless they start taking matters into their own hands.
One way to start working on affordability issues is to make sure you have access to the full spectrum of home loans. Too often, people restrict themselves to just one or two types of mortgage, thinking that’s all they have to work with.
By using a mortgage broker, you can tap into dozens of home loan products, each tailored to a different financial situation. It won’t necessarily fix the housing market – but for some people, it can help out a lot.