There is no escaping the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult for people on low to moderate incomes to find a suitable home close to schools, shops, jobs and healthcare services.
With tighter lending criteria and house prices creeping higher in growing areas, it is also challenging for first home buyers to enter the market and buy their first home.
The causes of increased house prices are complex, however a lack of housing supply, serviced land and government land released for affordable housing can all increase pressure on home prices. There are also a range of direct and indirect costs that add to the price of housing.
Property taxes, charges, levies and delays - the hidden costs entrenched in NSW's planning framework - can add up to 40 per cent to the cost of housing. These costs stack up and no one has a clear line of sight of what is being charged across NSW, and for what outcomes for the community. This is the case for social, community and at market housing.
Despite the hurdles to delivering housing, the benefits of providing the right housing in the right places are well known. The Strengthening Economic Cases for Housing Policies study partly commissioned by the Property Council and released earlier this year found there are big benefits for the economy and residents if we build more housing close to jobs and services. Residents who lived closer to jobs and services increased their incomes by $12,000 to $41,000 a year depending on their qualifications. These increased earnings would lead to a $17.57 billion boost to the NSW economy over 40 years.
These benefits provide key new evidence for why denser, more affordable housing should be built around key infrastructure and in well-serviced existing centres - this is equally important in the Hunter and Newcastle.
Loans for affordable housing providers from the National Housing Investment and Finance Corporation raised through guaranteed bonds and the recently announced first homebuyer home deposit support from the federal government will both help. But there is much more work to do.
Join us at our June 18 lunch as we delve into this complex issue with our keynote speaker Brendan Crotty, chair of the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation.