Chat with us, powered by LiveChatHockney: Australia faces housing 'affordability crisis'

Hockney: Australia faces housing 'affordability crisis'

Australia is suffering from a housing affordability crisis because of rising interest rates and uncertainty surrounding the Gillard government's planned carbon tax, the opposition says.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today showed the number of new homes approved in April fell by 1.3 per cent from the previous month, and now stand 11.5 per cent lower than a year earlier.

Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey said the data showed that housing construction remains under significant pressures.

"Australia is suffering an affordability crisis in the housing sector, with insufficient houses being built to meet demand," Mr Hockey said in a statement.

“For many, the Australian dream of owning a home is becoming a nightmare."

He said housing activity is being squeezed by the seven interest rate rises by the Reserve Bank since 2009, coupled with additional increases by the commercial banks

The uncertain impact of Labor's carbon tax is also affecting confidence of the industry and potential buyers.

"This lack of confidence is shown clearly in the slowest growth in housing finance in a generation," Mr Hockey said.

He said while it is pleasing to see a recovery in approvals in Queensland - jumping by 29.2 per cent in April - as it continues to rebuild from the devastation caused by natural disasters earlier this year, the falling national trend remains of concern.

He again called on the government to wind back its "wasteful and reckless" spending to ease upward pressure on interest rates.

"Failure to do so will only deny more Australians the chance to own their own home," he said.

Source: The Age Domain