Hous­ing costs to haunt us for a decade an­a­lyst says

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - Martin Rasini townsville­bul­letin. com. au

Michael Ma­tusik A RE­TURN to af­ford­abil­ity in the Queens­land hous­ing mar­ket is likely to come by way of a slow de­fla­tion in prices un­til wages and rents catch up – and it could take a decade, ac­cord­ing to a Bris­bane prop­erty an­a­lyst.

Michael Ma­tusik says slow de­fla­tion oc­curred in the 1990s and his­tory is likely to re­peat it­self so long as peo­ple re­main in em­ploy­ment and meet mort­gage pay­ments.

His com­ments fol­low re­lease in late Jan­uary of the lat­est De­mographia In­ter­na­tional Hous­ing Af­ford­abil­ity Sur­vey which listed 27 cities and towns in Aus­tralia as se­verely un­af­ford­able.

Of se­verely un­af­ford­able hous­ing mar­kets, Townsville was ranked num­ber 54 in the world.

Coffs Har­bour came i n fifth, Mel­bourne sixth, the Sun­shine Coast eighth and Gold Coast twelfth.

The world’s most un­af­ford­able cen­tre was Hong Kong, with Syd­ney in sec­ond place.

Mr Ma­tusik said the crea t i o n o f a f f o r d a b l e new homes is a ma­jor na­tional is­sue which authorities have failed to ad­dress, de­spite it be­ing amenable to res­o­lu­tion by gov­ern­ments.

H e s a y s a n u mb e r o f changes would con­trib­ute to re­solv­ing the prob­lem in­clud­ing faster pro­cess­ing of re­zon­ing and de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions and a more ju­di­cious ap­pli­ca­tion of taxes.

Tax changes should in­clude re­mov­ing the GST on newhome con­struc­tion, re­plac­ing the present user-pays up­front in­fra­struc­ture charges model with one that im­poses a n n u a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e charges over the life of a pro­ject and re­duc­ing stamp du­ties on sale of new-built homes.

Also, Mr Ma­tusik said, gov­ern­ments should pro­vide in­fra­struc­ture in ad­vance of n e e d , d e c e n t r a l i s e t h e work­force and pop­u­la­tion to re­gional cen­tres and match mi­gra­tion sup­ply to jobs.

How­ever, he does not see the changes as likely to oc­cur.

‘‘ We would do some­thing about it if we could, but do­ing such re­quires gov­ern­ment ac­tion, which we all know isn’t go­ing to hap­pen,’’ he said. ‘‘ So noth­ing much will change, re­sult­ing in peo­ple mov­ing less, more ren­o­vat­ing in place, and fewer prop­erty trans­ac­tions.’’

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