Encouraging home ownership

Are we seeing the first sparks of a true housing affordability debate emanating from the nation's capital?

Perhaps. Last week, Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen in a thoughtful speech reflected on the escalating prices of housing in our major cities.

Like our president Mark Steinert said at our recent 20th anniversary event, high rates of home ownership are a central tenet of the Australian success story and critical to our social cohesion and household economic security.

We all should be concerned that a generation of young Australians is being priced out of the housing market.

Chris Bowen is right to highlight this issue. And while he did not put any new policies on the table (just the same promise to lift taxes on investors) we are taking his speech for what it is; an invitation to explore areas where we can encourage high rates of home ownership and increased housing supply.

While it is natural to sweat on the month by month movements of markets, we all know that the long game is about growth.

Our population is growing, particularly in our major cities. Sydney and Melbourne are projected to reach 8 million people within a couple of decades, and Brisbane and Perth are expected to turn into Sydney-sized cities over the same timeframe.

It's a growth challenge our policy settings too often don't do well. Changing this is a core challenge for Australia and one that should rightly be the subject of a national debate.

So bring it on, with the facts and the solutions too please.