Without any shadow of a doubt the property market in Australia today is an absolute disaster. We have areas in boom and areas that are mentally, physically and emotionally bankrupt. An article that appeared online by Toby Hall who is chief executive of Mission Australia titled “The black cloud over a rich land”. “A report tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva this week makes grim reading for anyone interested in affordable housing and homelessness in Australia.

“Australia is in the grip of a “serious national housing crisis” characterised by “reductions in public housing stock, soaring private rental rates, an acknowledged housing affordability crisis and no real reduction in the number of homeless”, the report notes.

The fact this crisis has developed over a decade of almost unequalled economic prosperity in this country is cause for disappointment.

Let’s look at the symptoms. About 1.5 million Australians are living “housing stress” – that is, spending at least 30 per cent of their income on housing costs. According to a recent international survey, Australia has the least affordable housing in a group also comprising the US, Canada, Ireland, Britain and New Zealand.

As a result, a tidal wave of low – income earners has moved to the fringes of our big cities where they commute for long periods to work, which has serious economic, social and environmental consequences for us all. There are about 30,000 fewer housing stock today than in 1996, despite increased demand. Based on quite dated figures from 2001 census, about 100,000 Australians are homeless on any night. Of this number 46,000 are under 25s.”

This is exactly what you won’t read or hear about in an election year as these statistics are a classic example of “not in my backyard”. It was interesting to note that the May 2007 Inner Sydney Residential Vacancy Rate remained at 1.3 per cent which is identical to the April result.

There are clear signs that over the past decade federal and state governments have used and abused many sections of the property market. Since the introduction of GST taxes have increased not decreased as promised, which is exactly the cause of the problem. If a home owner goes mortgagee in possession does the state government refund their stamp duty?

Absolutely not !! The state government called an enquiry this week into the cause of the wharf at Cremorne Point sinking last weekend. One would have guessed if they looked at schools and hospitals they would see that like many things, it has something to do with maintenance.

Cheers ^__^

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