House prices are higher in Sydney and Melbourne than in almost all other developed-nation cities with the result that most young households cannot afford to buy a detached house. Why? Part of the explanation is a combination of generous tax benefits to investors and upgrading home owners. This has prompted massive investment in dwellings, but mostly in established detached housing. This investment drives up prices without adding to supply. New research report, 3 July 2018Bob Birrell and Ernest Healy, Immigration and the Housing Affordability Crisis in Sydney and Melbourne
However these investors and upgrading home owners are competing for detached housing with large numbers of young resident and migrant households. Tax advantages together with high levels of immigration-fuelled population growth have meant that there has been only one way prices could go; that is up.
The Greater Sydney Commission along with the Grattan Institute and the Reserve Bank (as well as most planners and commentators) assert that the solution to the affordability crisis is to abolish zoning constraints on medium-density housing in existing suburban areas.