The opposition Liberal-National Coalition, locked in a close battle with the ruling Labor Party in Australia’s Saturday elections, has adopted a housing policy to improve the nation’s housing affordability. The policy would require states to monitor housing affordability and to release more land for development. There would also be a review of the efficacy of development charges.
Housing affordability has been an issue of substantial concern in Australia for years and has emerged as the top concern among voters in this election. State governments have talked about housing affordability, but have done little. Over the past five years, house prices have continued to rise relative to incomes. Just in the last nine months, a mortgage payment on the median priced house has risen from $500 in Adelaide to more than $800 in Sydney.
The Coalition policy, however, represents the second significant development in recent weeks (Note). The first was anexpansion of the Melbourne urban growth boundary by 440 square kilometers. All of this may signal an overdue attention to housing affordability in Australia.