Real estate crisis, economy and justice

Will my children ever have a roof over their heads (and get out from under mine)? The issues of equity, economics and housing affordability have been on the minds of our letter writers and online commenters this week. Homeownership is at record lows – how did we get into this mess?

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

Has immigration contributed to the affordability crisis?

physicist The discussion ignores the problem of sustainability. A continued growing economy is not sustainable. An increase in population makes achieving sustainability less likely and survival in the face of global threats more problematic. There is a limit to growth. Alternatives to migration should be found to address the problems of labor shortages in certain areas.

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CaveCanem We can learn more from Japan than stifling the economy through restrictive immigration. Zoning laws in cities like Tokyo are very liberal compared to most Australian cities. This allows the market to react more quickly to changes in demand, including in the housing market. As a result, property prices did not fluctuate as much as they do here. In order for the private housing market to function efficiently, a thorough overhaul of our planning regulations is required.

El Zorro As a migrant myself, I wholeheartedly welcome this article. For those of you who loathe immigration, there should be a magic crystal ball so you can see the future of this country without immigration: who will serve you at the restaurant, who will lay your bricks, who will create startups, who will guide you? Enterprise, educate your children, bring new ideas, challenge the status quo and move the country forward, or even wipe your butt if you’re too old to do it yourself.

Alan Jones, Narraweena It appears that population growth is now accompanied by declining wealth and that Australians are now recognizing this, with polls showing that a large majority are now opposed to population growth. This is not surprising as growth threatens both our life-supporting ecosystems and our socio-economic systems including housing.

Illustration: Vintage Cathy Wilcox

Illustration: Vintage Cathy WilcoxCredit:

Real estate sales are increasing, but not for the youth. Why this?

Dinky Di Everyone knew that the last real estate boom was unsustainable, but it was allowed to continue because the real estate industry, the banking industry and governments all benefit from rising real estate prices and the boom in sales and repurchases that they caused. This “feeding frenzy” is encouraged by low interest rates and tax incentives.

Gds Gds The real answer is to stop the attractiveness of real estate as an investment. All tax incentives apply to real estate as an investment and not to a home. It’s time we allowed people to own a home and perhaps an investment property, and then the property tax comes into effect. The money raised can be used to build affordable housing reserved for first-time home buyers and people with low incomes. Too much investment money is currently tied up in bricks and mortar.

the farm It’s time we asked ourselves: What kind of country do we want for the future? And support those in government who can do it. “Intergenerational prosperity” for some shouldn’t come at the expense of others or divide the country – anyone who has been to the US recently and experienced the “homeless problem” knows exactly what I mean.

Illustration: John Shakespeare

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit:

Time to bite the bullet and spend money on social housing

AllWomenUnite When we have more people than houses, the cost and price of houses increases exponentially. The average cost of houses in Sydney is $1.4 million. Banks will lend you any amount of money. We follow the USA when, decades ago, entire states went bankrupt because people who had taken out loans could not pay the money back.

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Lisa 62 Unfortunately, the state government has no desire to deal with the problem of vacant and underused properties. Rich people can own multiple properties simply because they can. If property were treated as protection and the rich were encouraged to invest in productive goods and services, we might be able to shift the lever. But I see no real will to address the inequality that is causing the housing crisis.

NewsNitPicker The housing crisis is clearly the governments fault. Open the doors to people to gain a few percentage points in economic growth, keep wages down and drive up real estate prices. Pushing more than 1,600 Australians into homelessness every month is a blot on political inaction.

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Justin Scaccy

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