Category Archives: Housing Affordability

Income VS. House Price “Time Machine”

We have created a tool below that compares the national average income to house price decade by decade in Australia.

You can customise the tool to see how you compare with the national averages of then and now. Choose between single and dual income and change the household income & house price to your situation.

What you can see demonstrated below is that each decade has always had it better off than what we are facing now and in the future. This is an unsustainable growth pattern that has already made home ownership unreachable for the nation as a whole. This will extend into the point of ridiculous if things keep going up in 2020, 2030, 2040 and beyond.

There is also a download button (bottom right) if you would like to view this document in Microsoft Excel.

We attribute this unsustainable growth to irresponsible tax incentives, such as Australia's Negative Gearing policy. Please read our Housing Affordability campaign to see how the Tenant Rights Party will address this issue for current and future generations of all Australians.

Please read about our National Tenancy Body, Anti Discrimination and Housing Affordability campaigns. We need you to join the fight for tenant rights!

“Generation Selfish” have themselves to blame

Following some terribly misguided comments published recently by Malcolm Gunning (former President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW and Principal of Gunning Real Estate), I called for an interview and had hoped this might set a few things straight and even give his comments a chance at redemption.

Well, it sure did set the record straight and it's worse than I expected...

On July 25, 2016 there were a number of media outlets reporting on comments that Malcolm Gunning had made in relation to renters, labelling them "Generation Selfish" and said they have themselves to blame.

Let's not forget that this is the former President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW making these comments. Not just a small time real estate agency owner.

Mr. Gunning was quoted as saying that 'generation selfish' were missing out (on home ownership), as they were not prepared to make sacrifices.

"More and more we are seeing a victim mentality associated with the high cost of property, yet this 'generation selfish' sees wide screen TVs, designer clothes, international holidays and eating out as every day essentials. They simply won't do what is necessary to cut their lifestyle in order to save a deposit," he said.

Needless to say, this attitude is part of the problem. It's an attitude that demonstrates naivety and close-mindedness and is what is getting in the way of any real progress. It is this kind of arrogance that is putting more than half the population into forced renting and into having to accept they may very well rent for life.

As I read the articles, I thought to myself, "surely this isn't something that someone so well-regarded in the real estate industry would be silly enough to be quoted as saying!!". They also rely on tenants to fill their rentals and might like those renters to be property buyers or sellers someday too. Am I right?

Well, you be the judge. Here is what Mr. Gunning had to say during our interview.

Mr. Gunning confirmed that his findings recently published in media were based upon opinion and discussion with his employees within 'generation selfish' - described as someone who does not yet own their own home.

Mr. Gunning argued that, "25-year-olds in regional Australia are completely different in attitude to those who live in the city. We employ many of those people within that age bracket, so we have a fair indication and we often discuss and debate about priorities between my generation (I'm 66) and that generation."

Mr. Gunning says, "The hipster movement of living in the city and the purchasing of flat-screen TVs, fashion clothing, international holidays and eating out every day (instead of buying a house) is mostly driven by girls, as they are 'must haves' and that 'generation selfish' were only interested in buying new, not used".

Mr. Gunning also said that, "'Generation selfish' felt home buying was expected as a right, and not necessarily earned, and that 'generation selfish' had not been through any hardship that prior generations had," also quipping, "renting is just a life-style choice." Mr. Gunning suggested that, "If renters really wanted to buy, Wollongong is cheap and a good place to live and that renters don't want to catch public transport because they see it as a second-class transport."

I asked Mr. Gunning if his comments were representative of the opinion of all real estate agents, to which Mr. Gunning replied, "No, I think it is a perception shared by the baby boomer generation."

When quizzed if Mr. Gunning agreed that our Housing Affordability policy might help see an increase in newly constructed dwellings, he replied, "Yes I do, I think that will assist" and had also added, "Federal, state and council government are to blame, as they have their head in the trough too."

I guess we can agree on that one.

What can we do to end the stereotyping and discriminatory comments in the media?

Before media will agree to publish any information and opinion we produce, we are asked to back it with statistics and data. This is to ensure the information has integrity and basis.

I find it appalling that the media publish these sorts of comments, which are based upon no fact and research or contain any alternative perspective and comment. These sorts of stereotypes make issues in Anti Discrimination grow more and more ugly. It's wrong on so many levels, but it seems the real estate industry are the darlings of some media companies - no doubt because they pay a lot in advertising.

These comments also demonstrate why we must stand united, so that one day there can be real change. We cannot allow these kinds of comments to continue to weigh us down and ruin any prospect we have for our future.

Help put an end to this by showing as a united front. The media cannot ignore over half the population of Australia, if we speak as one!

Please read about our National Tenancy Body, Anti Discrimination and Housing Affordability campaigns. We need you to join the fight for tenant rights!

“WHY BOTHER”, says government policy

How can we encourage kids who have grown up in social housing to break free of these chains? I'll admit, I don't know the answer to this question.

Can we work together to find a solution?

I want to share with you a story about Cheryl from Rowville, Victoria. Cheryl has given me permission to share her story, as she hopes it may prove to be useful food for thought.

Cheryl's story, however, is really about her son who is struggling to find his way out of a social housing system, which seems hell-intent on keeping him in it.

Cheryl also has two disabled daughters who she cares for full-time as a single mother. Cheryl has been struggling for years to make ends meet (relying on St. Vinnies for food vouchers and dried foods), meanwhile, her son has been focused on gaining employment, whilst living from the family couch. There is simply not enough room for Cheryl, her two disabled daughters and her son.

Cheryl is a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her children's father. The children's father is now out of prison but ensures he pays very little child support by earning a cash-in-hand income only.

Cheryl's son aspires to take his family out of social housing and into private rental accommodation. He wants to take his mother and sisters with him. He has been trying his best to save for the deposit bond and has been preparing to finally break free of the stigma that is being a social welfare recipient.

This was all before public housing bureaucracy automatically adjusted the family income testing to include her son's wages, ever since Cheryl's son gained employment. As a result of this, her son must now pay $200 per week out of his net pay for Cheryl's rent, in addition to what Cheryl must also pay.

Cheryl's son now feels stripped of ambition and motivation. He feels as though the system is setup to keep him from succeeding. And I can't help but empathise with his situation.

On one hand, we should be ensuring that those on social welfare benefits are means tested to prevent abuse. On the other hand, we shouldn't be stopping people like Cheryl's son from breaking free from social housing.

I think as a society we should be doing everything we can to support each other. That includes supporting the aspirations of people like Cheryl's son. This is vitally important because proactive thinking on the subject will prove to achieve a reduced spend in public housing, which has taken centre stage as a big issue for many Australians and the major political parties.

What do you think?

I hope this story creates a discussion and helps us explore a solution - as I am sure Cheryl's story is not unique and that there are many who aspire to be better than they are, but are being held back by bureaucracy.

Please read about our National Tenancy Body, Anti Discrimination and Housing Affordability campaigns. We need you to join the fight for tenant rights!

It’s CONFIRMED – you will rent for life

It appears as though Australian tenants have woken up from the great Australian dream, that is owning their own home, to the nightmare that is the frightening reality of renting for life.

An analysis of data published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that renting in Australia has been on a rapid increase since 1966 through to the latest Census in 2011.

The increase is also tipped to see renting shadow mortgaged owner occupiers in 2016. Renting will also shadow owned owner occupiers in the not so distant future if trends for the past 50 years continue.

The data also demonstrates a slower owned & mortgaged growth, making renting in Australia the fastest growing sector of the Australian housing industry.

The median age of tenants in rented dwellings is 37 (which is also the median age of the Australian population). Compared to owned & mortgaged owner occupied dwellings at 52, it is clear that tenants make up the majority of the Australian population, which also include young families and older children still living with their parents in rented dwellings.

Table demonstrating leading rented dwelling growth that is expected to exceed mortgaged dwellings in the August 2016 Census.

Analysis conducted by the Tenant Rights Party demonstrating leading rented dwelling growth that is expected to exceed mortgaged dwellings in the August 2016 Census.

Australian tenants are faced with this uncertain future due to the Housing Affordability crisis.

It's a double-edged sword that ensures the high cost of rent impedes even the best of efforts to save a deposit for a house. At the same time, property prices grow further away from what ought to be the real value of property, due to unfair economic policies such as negative gearing.

We see the wealthy amassing more and more wealth in housing, at the cost of a fair go for the honest and hard working Australian renters that have done nothing to deserve the stigma of being labeled a second-rate citizen for renting - a view which is shared by many non-renting Australians.

So what does renting for life mean for me?

Being forced to rent for life could have a devastating impact on tenants. These impacts include:

  • Heavy reliance on super funds & savings, as rent will still need to be paid throughout retirement
  • Many Australians sell high value assets (such as the family home) in the later stages of life to pay for aged care living and support
  • High cost of moving and related expenses e.g. removalists, bond cleaning, bond claims, utilities (cancellations and new installs), etc.
  • Constantly increasing rents
  • High stress and other health impacts, due to the problems many tenants face when renting
  • Constantly debasing the family due to a lack of long-term lease options (which can be destructive to education and the emotional & mental well-being of all family members)
  • Unlikely to be able to have companion or family pets
  • Never experiencing the comfort, safety and general well-being from living in your own home

Renting has the potential to be a beneficial stepping stone to owning your own home. If it weren't for the double-edged sword described above, renters could have the chance of someday owning their own home by saving a deposit while renting. This will remain an impossibility unless there is serious change.

Tenants are instead finding themselves trapped inside a viscous cycle of renting they can never escape.

Tenants deserve to have a say in their future. It's time for change and it starts with you. Join the fight for tenant rights!

Please read about our National Tenancy Body, Anti Discrimination and Housing Affordability campaigns. We need you to join the fight for tenant rights!