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Will my children ever be able to put a roof over their heads (and get out from under mine)? Issues of equity, economics and housing affordability have been on the minds of our letters writers and online commenters this week. Home ownership has plummeted to record lows – how did we get into this mess?
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Physiker The discussion ignores the problem of sustainability. A continuing 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 for the problems of the shortage of workers in particular areas.
CaveCanem We have more to learn from Japan than strangling the economy through restrictive immigration. Zoning laws in cities like Tokyo are very liberal compared to those in place in most Australian cities. This allows the market to respond quicker to changes in demand, including housing. As a result, house prices have not fluctuated as wildly as they have done here. A thorough overhaul of our planning regulations is needed to allow the private housing market to operate efficiently.
El Zorro As a migrant myself, I wholeheartedly applaud this article. For those of you who abhor immigration, there should be a magical crystal ball so you could see this country’s future without immigration: who’s going to serve you at the resto, who’s going to lay your bricks, who’s going to create start-ups, run business, educate your children, bring new ideas, challenge the status quo and make the country advance or even wipe your bottom when you’re too old to do it yourself.
Alan Jones, Narraweena It seems that population growth is now correlated with falling wellbeing and that Aussies now realise this, since polling shows that a large majority are now against population growth. This is not surprising since growth threatens both our life-supporting ecosystems and socio-economic systems including housing.
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Dinky Di Everyone knew that the last property 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 they stimulate. This “feeding frenzy” is encouraged by low interest rates and tax incentives.
Gds Gds The real answer is to stop property being attractive as an investment. All the tax incentives are on property as an investment rather than a home. It is time we allowed people one home and, maybe, one investment property and then the tax on properties kicks in. The money raised can build affordable housing that is retained for first home buyers and low-income people. Right now, too much investment money is locked up in bricks and mortar.
the farm It’s time we asked ourselves what sort of country do we want for the future? And support those in government who can make it happen. “Intergenerational wealth” for some shouldn’t come at a cost for others, or divide the country – anyone who has been to the US lately and witnessed the “homeless issue” knows exactly what I mean.
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AllWomenUnite When we have more people than houses, the cost and price of houses rises exponentially. The median cost of houses in Sydney is $1.4 million. Banks will lend you any amount of money. We are following the US when decades ago, whole states went broke when the people borrowing could not pay back the money.
Lisa 62 Sadly the state government has no appetite to deal with the issue of empty and underutilised properties. Rich people get to own multiple properties simply because they can. If property was treated as shelter and the rich encouraged to invest in productive goods and services we might be able to shift the dial. But I see no real appetite to address the inequality driving the housing crisis.
NewsNitPicker The housing crisis is firmly the fault of governments. Open the doors to the people to gain a couple of percentage points in economic growth, keep wages down and force property prices up. More than 1600 Australians pushed into homelessness each month is a blight on political inaction.
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