Rents up 15%: The human cost of Sydneys housing shortfall

18 November 2008

The latest rent figures reveal the extraordinary human cost of Sydneys undersupply of housing, according to Aaron Gadiel, chief executive of the Urban Taskforce.

The NSW Government Rent and Sales Report reveals there has been a 15 per cent increase in rents for three bedroom homes and a 13 per cent increase for two bedroom homes in the 12 months to September 2008.


Rents for three bedroom homes have shot up at three times the rate of inflation, Mr Gadiel said.


Mr Gadiel said that the figures showed that renters were paying the price for Sydneys undersupply of housing The number of new homes is falling short of whats required by 18,000 a year, Mr Gadiel said.


While rents in the most expensive inner suburbs of Sydney actually declined slightly in the most recent three months – homes are still unaffordable for most people, with weekly median rents of $480 for two bedroom apartments.


The inner citys lack of affordable rental properties has forced more people to chase apartments in the middle ring suburbs, where the median rent for two bedroom apartments has jumped by 20 per cent to $360 a week.


In Auburn rents for two bedroom apartments rose by 20 per cent over the last 12 months; 22 per cent in Canterbury; 21 per cent in Parramatta and 20 per cent in Rockdale.


Mr Gadiel said rents for houses in the outer suburbs were rising dramatically.


The absence of new housing developments on the citys fringe has forced up rents for three bedroom houses in the outer suburbs by 15 per cent over the last 12 months, Mr Gadiel said.


In Fairfield rents for three bedroom houses have jumped by 23 per cent, Holroyd by 21 per cent, Liverpool by 20 per cent, Baulkham Hills by 17 per cent and Blacktown by 15 per cent.


The community is now paying the price for the undersupply of housing thats plaguing Sydney, Mr Gadiel said.


Sky-high development levies as much as $90,000 a home have helped deliver the lowest level of new housing approvals in the history of Australian Bureau of Statistics record keeping.


In the last financial year work started on just 16,000 houses in NSW near to half the number of Victoria (31,000) and Queensland (30,000).


The number of houses under construction has fallen every year in NSW since 2001/2002.


In Victoria and Queensland, house construction increased in the last financial year by 5 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.


While work started on 14,000 medium and high density homes in NSW last financial year this figure was a 36 per cent fall on the 2002/2003 financial years figure of 23,000.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.



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