A new report suggests the government is not doing enough to improve housing affordability, especially for first home buyers, as home ownership is forecast to drop.
The National Housing Supply Council report identifies the need for a concerted approach by governments to address falling ownership numbers.
“Tenure patterns have changed significantly over the decade,” the report reads.
“With fewer younger and middle‑aged people owning their own home and, across all age groups, many fewer owning outright, it is clear that the rate of home ownership in Australia (about 70 per cent of households living in private dwellings) is being sustained by the high rate of home ownership of the present generation of older people.
“As time progresses, it now seems certain that the aggregate rate of home ownership will drop.”
According to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), the government needs to act to allow new homebuyers into the market.
“The Housing Supply and Affordability Issues 2012–13 report shows that it now seems certain the aggregate rate of home ownership in Australia will drop from around the rate of 70 per cent that it has been for the last three decades,” REIA president, Peter Bushby, said.
“Exacerbating the difficulty for first home buyers is that during 2012,the governments of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia announced that they would only provide the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) to purchasers of new property and not to those buying established housing.
“The actions of the state governments ignore the evidence that first home buyers have a clear preference for established houses. Only 18 per cent of Australian first home buyers are buying new homes with 82 per cent purchasing established dwellings,” Mr Bushby said.
In its Pre Budget Submission, the REIA has urged the government to address first home buyers.
“As part of a package of measures to address the affordability problem, REIA proposes that the Commonwealth government should establish a scheme to encourage young Australians to contribute to voluntary superannuation by allowing access to these resources for the purposes of raising a deposit for a first home,” it said.
“A good example of how this can work is provided by Singapore, where home ownership is at 87.2 per cent."
“The issue of first home buyers and affordability is a major issue for both sides of politics to address in this election year,” concluded Mr Bushby.