Getting housing and jobs back into kilter

In every city of Australia, housing affordability means something different.

Our smaller cities want more people, more jobs and believe that growth is a good word. The big focus is demand – and creating more of it.

In our bigger cities, we know that growth must be planned and supported by investment – and that more supply is vital if we are to arrest the growth in house prices we have seen in recent years.

As CEDA pointed out in its timely Housing Australia report released yesterday, the challenges we face are global as well as local.

Across the globe interest rates have fallen, finance has become easier and asset prices have risen. While locally, governments often operate cumbersome, complex and costly planning systems which are struggling to cope with the dramatic transformation occurring in our cities.

This is not just an industry issue – it’s an economic issue, a community issue and a personal one for many of us.

When housing supply, housing affordability and job needs are out of kilter, the economy suffers and families do as well – with more and more people living further away from where they work.

And the debt required to get in the market continues to rise – putting more pressure on households and taking impetus out of the economy.

Full marks to CEDA for reminding governments that supply-side reforms are required to address housing affordability.

The message, which we argue every day, is clear: we need planning reform so we can lift productivity, take pressure off housing prices and ensure that people can live closer to where they work.