• REIA calls for Australian governments to urgently tackle housing issues

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    Overhead view of houses in Adelaide with hills in the background.

    The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is calling on the Federal Government to urgently address issues surrounding home ownership as supply continues to diminish.

    Speaking at the National Housing Forum on 16 June, REIA President, Adrian Kelly said after holding their first ever policy forum of Australia’s real estate agents – Getting Real – in Darwin, REIA had upgraded their forecast for sales and rentals to rise between 20 to 50 per cent in supply shortfalls across the states.

    “The amount of owner occupiers without a mortgage plummeted from 40 per cent in 1994 to just 30 per cent by 2018 and this figure is expected to continue to decline as more people struggle to pay off their homes,” he said.

    Supply will need to address the five categories of the housing spectrum which includes homelessness (0.5 per cent), social and affordable housing (three per cent), private rental (27 per cent), first home buyers (15 per cent) and home ownership (67 per cent) (37 per cent with a mortgage).

    “These percentages highlight the need to protect and promote the private sector. While there is no argument that more social and affordable housing options are needed, we do have to acknowledge that 97 per cent of Australians are concerned with supply in the private market,” Mr Kelly said.

    “Pre-pandemic, REIA estimated the supply shortfall to be around 150,000 homes and this is despite the major home construction boom credited widely to the HomeBuilder stimulus.

    “With 235,000 new Australians expected to return in force by 2023-24 after negative population growth, enabling supply is going to be critical. Between 2023 and 2060, we can expect significant changes to the status quo that must be planned for,” Mr Kelly said.

    According to REIA, housing affordability in New South Wales is at its worst ever with home buyers spending a staggering 43.7 per cent of their income on loan repayments while renters are now spending 27.5 per cent of their income on rent.

    “Outlandish media headlines on housing affordability are all very well and good, but the reality is we need to bring State and Federal Governments to the table to tackling a housing supply plan using the same spirit, determination and funding we have used to fight COVID-19,” Mr Kelly said.

    More information

    Want to know how Western Australia is faring when it comes to housing affordability? Read REIA’s latest WA findings