Housing affordability in Australia is set to remain in focus after comments made from Bill Shorten in his Budget reply speech.
“The Commonwealth must use its fiscal horsepower to work with the states and private investors to provide more affordable housing, to develop our cities and towns,” Mr Shorten said.
The comments from Mr Shorten put housing affordability back on the agenda after it was conspicuously absent from Treasurer Joe Hockey’s Budget.
In March first home buyer numbers fell to 14.7 per cent, down from 15.1 per cent, while the average loan size rose by $5,200 to $326,300.
Despite this, there was no relief in this year’s Federal Budget.
Shane Oliver from AMP Capital told The Age that he thinks the federal Government might have given up on first home owner grants and the issue of housing affordability had become one for the States to handle.
Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison welcomed the Budget reply when he spoke to The Age.
“The Opposition Leader has marked out cities and infrastructure as reform priorities and we welcome this focus,” Mr Morrison said.
“It is very encouraging to see the role of the Commonwealth government recognised as fundamental if we are to manage growth in our cities and make them more liveable, more productive and more sustainable.”
“Policymakers cannot ignore the fundamental role that the property industry has to play in shoring up the strength of the economy as it transitions from a decade-long reliance on mining,” he said.