Deepening housing crisis: report

NEW South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a deepening housing crisis, a report has revealed.

The report - Housing Supply and Affordability, Key Indicators 2012 - released on Thursday showed housing supply was failing to meet demand in the states.

NSW experienced the most acute housing shortage with an estimated gap of 89,000 dwellings to the end of June last year, while in Queensland the situation was marginally better, with a shortfall of 83,000 dwellings.

Relative to the number of households, the largest estimated shortfall was in the Northern Territory at almost 15%.

The National Housing Supply Council arrived at the numbers after analysing underlying housing demand, supply, the balance between the two, and housing affordability.

It used data not available for inclusion in the 2011 State of Supply Report, released in December.

Using the new data the NHSC showed nationally the housing shortfall at the end of June was 200,000, up from the 187,000 estimate in the December report.

The council projects that the national shortfall will increase to 370,000 by 2016, 492,000 by 2021 and 663,000 by 2031, assuming historic demographic and supply trends continue.

Australian for Affordable Housing campaign manager Sarah Toohey said the report was proof the housing system was broken.

She said housing affordability - both in terms of house prices and escalating rents - remained a serious problem, with low-income earners feeling the most pain.

"The number of properties available and affordable to low-income households has decreased by 66,000 since 2007, taking the total shortfall to 539,000 properties," she said.

"This is double the shortfall reported in the 2008 State of Supply report. This shortage of affordable and available rental properties makes it even harder for low income earners to keep a roof over their head."

"We hear a lot of talk about falling house prices and a troubled housing market, but in our capital cities, house prices are still eight to nine times average earnings. Indeed the National Housing Supply Council report shows that house prices are at or above pre-GFC levels."

She said the report showed why it was becoming increasingly difficult for younger people to enter the property market.
 Australians for Affordable Housing has called on levels of government to formulate a national housing plan.

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