A new report proves that Perth’s housing affordability remains a critical issue that requires immediate attention from government according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA).

The latest Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for 2017, which calculates cities’ affordability rates by using a house price to income ratio, earmarked Perth as ‘Severely Unaffordable’ with a median multiple of 5.9.

“It is extremely concerning that Perth continues to rank as severely unaffordable, reflecting the struggle that low and middle income earners still face in buying a home,” UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes said.

“We cannot be complacent just because house prices have declined in recent years. These latest results show that we have obviously still not addressed the underlying causes of our lack of affordability,” Ms Hailes said.

“Indeed as house prices declined, so did the State’s economic conditions, meaning that even more people are struggling to enter the housing market,” Ms Hailes said.

“The UDIA wants to work with the government to address the underlying issues related to housing affordability including inefficiencies in the land supply process, lack of support for housing diversity, poor infrastructure funding policy and current taxation policy. Changes in these areas will enable the delivery of more affordable housing options,” Ms Hailes said.
“In order to achieve a more cost effective supply of land to the market, we need a more efficient planning and development approvals system that provides greater certainty, consistency and accountability,” Ms Hailes said.

“Delays and duplications in the system mean developers are spending far too much time and money simply navigating through the approvals process, which adds unnecessary costs that are passed on to buyers,” Ms Hailes said.

“This also flows into housing diversity and the need for a policy framework that encourages a range of housing typologies. All levels of government should support new and innovative ways of delivering new housing, rather than simply seeking compliance to out of date requirements,” Ms Hailes said.

“Changes to our taxation system, such as the abolishment of stamp duty and the introduction of a broad based land tax would mean a much more fair and equitable system,” Ms Hailes said.

“The current way that stamp duty is applied is an unfair cost burden on new home buyers,” Ms Hailes said.

“We should be transitioning to a much fairer system that does not put road blocks in place for people trying to buy their first home or downsize into a more appropriate home later in life,” Ms Hailes said.

“Increasing the opportunities for shared equity loans would also be of benefit to low and middle income home buyers looking to get a foothold into property ownership,” Ms Hailes said.

“We should be growing programs like Keystart and shared equity,” Ms Hailes said.

“I urge the government to work with industry to address the problems in the system, so that we can beat the tag of ‘seriously unaffordable’ for good,” Ms Hailes said.


For more information: 
Gemma Osiejak
UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Marketing
E: gosiejak@udiawa.com.au
M: 0421 506 819