The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that there are more than 120,000 vacant residential buildings in Sydney. A related story details how one Blakehurst resident, Dr Daniel Cox, has set up a wikipedia style website to pinpoint the locations of such properties across the greater Sydney area. In explaining the apparent abundance of vacant properties, Dr Cox says that many of them "..are there because overt speculators have bought them and wait." "I think we are one of the only countries left that has negative gearing, which makes it cheaper for speculators to own properties than home owners." Well, yes. I think so too. How refreshing to have someone, NOT from the Property Council or Real Estate Institute, stating the bleeding obvious. Col James, the director of the Ian Buchan Fell Housing Research Centre, in the University of Sydney's architecture faculty is also quoted as saying "You get the property development industry bleating about how they need to produce 1000 dwellings a week to meet housing demand". "I say to them, "Well, guys, there's 120,000 houses out there you are not doing anything with." More common sense. If Australia were to immediately end negative gearing on investment properties and to implement policies designed to stabilise our population, I wonder whether we'd have a 'housing crisis' at all? .