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PM Howard Urges States To Release Land For Homes

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER HOWARD URGES STATES TO RELEASE LAND TO MAKE HOMES AFFORDABLE


DEMOGRAPHIA
http://www.demographia.com

NEWS RELEASE
(for immediate release)

20 August 2006

ACTION MUST FOLLOW TALK, IN DEALING WITH HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS

At an Australian Liberal Party Conference in South Australia at the weekend, the major theme of Prime Minister John Howard’s address (refer ABC news item below) was housing affordability. He focused on urging the State Governments of Australia to urgently release more land, as strangling supply is the major cause of housing inflation.

Mr Howards speech follows the same comments made last week by the Australian Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, when he launched a major report by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) “The Tragedy of Planning: Losing The Great Australian Dream” This report concluded that housing lots on the periphery of Melbourne should not cost any more than $60,000.

Last week the retiring Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Ian MacFarlane, said the slow release of land across Australia was falsely driving up house prices. He also urged State Governments to urgently address this issue.

Recently the New Zealand Housing Minister Chris Carter, stated (refer last para Page 10, North & South August article) that he is to get an investigation underway on why the Resource Management and Local Government Acts are arresting the supply of land for housing and what needs to be done to address the issue.

This investigation follows the release of a Motu Research report commissioned by the Centre for Housing Research of New Zealand (CHRANZ) earlier this year, which found that lack of land supply was the major cause of house price inflation in New Zealand.

The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey released in January, of the 100 major urban areas of the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia and NZ found that most urban markets in Australia and New Zealand are now severely unaffordable. They were affordable 20 and 30 years ago.

The Survey found that urban areas with Smart Growth policies are unaffordable.

Twenty four of the North American markets are currently affordable, where house prices are no more than three times household incomes. In contrast, Australian and New Zealand cities range between five and nine times incomes

The Demographia Surveys co author Hugh Pavletich said “Young people in Australia and New Zealand should not be required to pay any more than three times their annual household income to house themselves, as their parents and grandparents had the opportunity to do. Currently young people are being locked out or forced to buy inferior quality housing”.

Mr Pavletich said “With the political progress being made in Australia in dealing with this serious issue, New Zealand must ensure that it gets land released as quickly as possible, or face the grim reality of losing more young people to Australia. There is no need for this to happen. The choice is ours”.

ENDS
(370 words approx)

For further information –
(1) Google News “John Howard housing”; “Peter Costello housing”; “Ian MacFarlane housing”.
(2) NZ North & South magazine August cover story “Locked Out – Will our kids ever be able to buy a house?”.
(3) Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) www.ipa.org.au Melbourne, Australia latest housing report “The Tragedy of Planning: Losing the Great Australian Dream”
(4) NZ Centre for Housing Research (CHRANZ publications www.hnzc.co.nz/chr/index.html . Note further major report to be released Thursday 24 August 2006.

To discuss further – communicate –
Hugh Pavletich
Co author – Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey www.demographia.com .

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