Australia Faces Steep Housing Shortfall, Government Report Reveals - Property Inc

Australia Faces Steep Housing Shortfall, Government Report Reveals

Australia is grappling with a severe housing crisis, expected to fall short of its target to build 1.2 million new homes by 2029 by a staggering 160,000 homes, according to a recent report by the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council. Benn Dorrington, in his article, highlights this impending shortage, exacerbated by factors such as increased migration, rising interest rates, and a spate of construction company failures.

“The problems in our housing market are deep-seated, and there is no easy fix,” Council chair Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz was quoted saying in Dorrington’s report. She outlines a complex array of issues contributing to the crisis, including “elevated construction company insolvencies, weak consumer confidence and cost inflation,” which collectively push housing affordability out of reach for many Australians.

Eleanor Creagh, a senior economist at PropTrack, suggests that to meet the looming 2029 deadline, Australia would need to nearly double its current building efforts. She reveals a concerning trend in Dorrington’s article: “Annual completions could trend towards 140,000 unless something changes,” far below the necessary 240,000 homes per year.

In response to the crisis, federal and state governments have embarked on various reforms aimed at boosting housing production. This includes the allocation of significant funds such as the $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund and incentives like the $3 billion new homes bonus to spur states into action. However, as Dorrington reports, industry experts like Property Council chief executive Mike Zorbas argue that these efforts need to be accelerated. “The golden levers here are planning efficiency, land release, and last-mile infrastructure,” Zorbas stated, emphasizing the need for more decisive governmental action.

The housing shortfall not only affects home availability but has broader social implications. Dorrington notes that the number of households on public housing waiting lists and individuals experiencing homelessness remains alarmingly high, signaling a growing divide between housing supply and demand.

The urgency of addressing Australia’s housing crisis cannot be overstated. As federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers acknowledges, the goal to build 1.2 million homes is ambitious, but it is crucial for ensuring that all Australians have access to affordable housing. The current trajectory suggests significant challenges ahead, but with increased governmental resolve and industry cooperation, there is still hope to bridge the gap.


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