Several measures have been highlighted to State and Federal Governments to help ease the current housing affordability issues across Australia in a new report from the Grattan Institute called – Housing affordability: re-imagining the Australian dream.
The report suggests that cities are not delivering the best mix of housing location and density to meet people’s preferences, and it’s getting harder for people to find housing close to the job that suits them best.
The report suggested building an extra 50,000 homes a year for the next decade could result in Australian house prices 5 to 20 percent lower than that they otherwise would be, which would go a long way to helping ease housing affordability. However, for this to happen the report suggests the State and Federal Governments need to consider making some significant changes.
One of the key areas of the report suggests that State Governments should streamline planning rules to allow more homes to be built in the inner and middle ring suburbs of Australia’s largest cities; with more small-scale urban infill projects being allowed without council planning approval, and consider allowing denser development along key transport corridors.
The report outlines and details that housing affordability could best be addressed by increasing the supply of townhouses, terraces and medium-density apartments in suburbs 10 – 35 km from the CBD.
Streamlining the approval process and allowing for more medium density and small-scale housing development projects would be welcome news for property investors and the people who would benefit directly from the move. Owner occupiers and renters would benefit from the more affordable pricing in the suburbs where they desire to live and raise their families, through less land requirements in the build process, and the more sustainable housing design in terms of sharing of common walls, providing better noise and energy insulation.
It will be interesting to see just how quickly new medium-density housing projects are built, as home owners are finding it increasingly difficult to grab onto the old Australian dream of owning their home.