Reclaiming the Great Australian Dream

Housing affordability will play a critical role in Australia’s prosperity, equality and economic opportunity during the next decade, Property Council national president Mark Steinert said. Speaking at a dinner to celebrate 20 years since the Property Council was established, Mr Steinert said the industry could be proud of its achievements during the past two decades. Australian cities, however, had not kept pace with the economic demands on them. “We have taxed our growth too much, held back the creation of the housing and investment the country needs, and not built the infrastructure for our growing cities,” Mr Steinert said. “Families, cleaners and cooks and pensioners can’t afford to buy or own a home and live in our cities.” The 12th annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, published earlier this year, found Australia has some of the most “severely unaffordable” housing markets in the world, with the median house price now 5.6 times the median annual salary. Mr Steinert further said the affordability crisis was “remarkable”, given Australia currently had the lowest interest rates in its history. “We must never forget that the Australian dream of owning your own home is the foundation of the Australian story. It’s why we have one of the biggest middle classes in the world. “Property has allowed millions of Australians to build security and wealth and to be become self-reliant. It takes pressure off government and gives us all peace of mind.” Mr Steinert wants us to see ourselves as part of the solution. “Because if any group should believe in housing affordability and in building better communities and more productive cities, it is our industry.” He also said that an investment in property was an investment in Australia. “You can’t pick it up and take the building or the land and send it elsewhere – we are the ultimate investment in Australia.”

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