It’s no secret that buying a property in Brisbane is more expensive than it used to be.
Even though prices aren’t as high as Sydney or Melbourne, the housing affordability crisis is hitting those who can’t afford to buy a property but face increased rental prices.
A report by the Grattan Institute, released yesterday, said fewer than 50 per cent of Australians aged between 25 and 34 own their own property, with the highest income bracket the only exception.
The ratio of median Brisbane dwelling price to median annual gross household income was 5.7 in 2016, according to CoreLogic figures.
In 2001, that ratio was 3.7.
For many, moving further away from the inner city is the only solution to afford a slice of land.
Anita Cox has recently shifted 10 kilometres from the Brisbane suburb of Carindale to rent in Rochedale, in order to save money to buy a property closer to the city.
Anita Cox says rising property prices forced her to rent further away from the CBD. (ABC News: Donna Field)
“Back in the day mum stayed home with the kids, dad went to work, and they still had their house. Unfortunately that’s not a reality today,” she said.}
“I think it’s a little bit unfair for young people to get into the market.”
Sarah Guymer, who is pregnant with her second child, recently sold an apartment in Taringa but has found it impossible to afford a bigger property in the same area.
“We’re middle-class people with pretty good jobs but we still can’t afford to buy a house,” she said.
“The reality of that is I’m going to have to go back to work as soon as I can, and my husband won’t be able to spend as much time with his family because we have to move a lot further out.”
Ms Guymer said she had been outbid by interstate and overseas investors at recent auctions.
“It’s a bit disheartening to put in bids for houses and you go to your limit and it just gets snatched from underneath you from people who are just expanding their portfolio.”
Anti-development stance will cause long-term pain: experts
PHOTO: The Grattan Institute says heritage restrictions and community opposition is hampering essential development. (ABC RN: David Lewis)
The Grattan Institute’s authors credited the construction boom on the fringe of the Brisbane CBD for keeping unit prices down, while comparable properties in Sydney and Melbourne have soared.
However, they said, that would not fix the city’s long-term housing affordability problem.
“While high-rise developments contribute to the supply of housing in good locations, they can only add so much to the housing stock because they are generally limited to the relatively confined area of city centres, especially in Melbourne and Brisbane,” the authors said.
They said Brisbane’s construction boom did not fill demand for medium density dwellings further out from the CBD.
More housing was required in Brisbane’s “middle ring”, the authors said, but that could be hampered by heritage restrictions.
Another major problem is community opposition to development.
“Any significant policy change to improve housing affordability is likely to encounter substantial opposition, even if the change is clearly in the public interest,” the authors said.
Natalie Rayment, a Brisbane town planner and responsible development advocate, said more housing was needed across the community.
“We need low-density, we need mid-rise, we need townhouses, we need aged care, we need student housing,” she said.
“That’s not all going to be met by some high-rise buildings in our inner-city.”