Australia’s Rental Crisis

by Martin Armstrong

Renters across the globe are in a bad spot as housing has become unaffordable. The situation is particularly bad in Australia where rentals have reached a high not seen since 2009. As of March, the average rental was A$600 per week, surpassing the mid-2018 high of A$550. The is not enough supply to meet demand.

Housing availability dropped by nearly 50% from December 2021 to March 2022. The situation worsened once borders reopened as visa holders and tourists re-entered the nation. The vacancy rate, according to the CBD, has declined to 1.5% after peaking at 5.7% during the pandemic.

Some estimate that the “economic time bomb” of under-investment in affordable housing will cost taxpayers A$25 billion per year by 2051. Housing All Australians founder Rob Pradolin believes this figure is closer to A$110 billion, and believes a $55 billion investment could deliver a 2:1 cost-benefit ratio. At least 2 million Australian low-income households will be under “housing stress” by 2051. That is an optimistic forecast.

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Similar to America, the UK, and many other nations, shelter inflation has caused housing costs to become one of the biggest budget expenses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been accused of being out of touch by suggesting Australians simply buy a house. That is simply not possible for many, especially after the government-imposed lockdowns and shuttered countless businesses during COVID. Morrison has suggested allowing people to access their super (similar to pensions) early in order to purchase a home. Superannuation Minister Jane Hume said that this would result in rising home prices. Labor leader Anthony Albanese also criticized the plan by calling it a desperate “attack on future savings” and future generations. “If you take super away from people, then you’ll have higher deficits and bills from the government in the future,” he told reporters.

Oddly enough, Mr. Morrison vacated his own home, branded “Squat Morrison,” after losing the election to Albanese and taking his time leaving the property.

Unfortunately, Albanese has a worse plan in mind. Low-income residents will have the opportunity to buy a home, with the help of Big Brother government. The government will pay between 30% to 40% of total housing costs for 10,000 buyers annually. Instead of paying back the banks, the people must pay the government back if they can afford to do so.


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