A report by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (University of Canberra) has shown that income has failed to match the pace of growing house prices, which jumped 400 per cent between 1986 and 2007 while income increased just 120 per cent.
According to the report “Wherever I lay my debt, that’s my home” (pdf), Australian households needed 7.5 times their annual disposable income to buy a typical house in 2006, up 53 per cent from 1996 when households needed five times annual disposable income. The report key findings include the following startling facts:
Australia has one of the least affordable housing market
Out of all English speaking industrialised countries, Australia has one of the least affordable housing markets, with nearly 90 per cent of areas surveyed considered severely unaffordable.Western Australia’s Mandurah is one of the most unaffordable places surveyed, ranked sixth, behind centres such as Los Angeles and San Diego. Gold Coast and Sydney are both ranked 11th.
“Quite extraordinarily, it’s actually more expensive now to live in Sydney than in New York, relative to income.” — Professor Ann Harding
Home ownership drops across all ages
Over the past decade outright home ownership dropped from 42.9 per cent to 34.3 per cent. The most dramatic home ownership decline occurred for those aged 45-59.
Housing stress highest for Gen Y
In 2006, Gen Y (15-29 years) households had the highest levels of housing stress at 35.3 per cent, while 31.8 per cent of Gen X (30-44 years) households were in housing stress compared to just 18.8 per cent of baby boomers (45-59 years) and 9.5 per cent of builders (over 60 years).