A federal electorate in the Illawarra Shoalhaven has recorded the highest percentage house price rise of all electorates in Australia putting extreme pressure on housing affordability.
Data shows that house prices in the seat of Gilmore increased by 39.5% last year while rents climbed by 12.5% during the same period.
Nicholas Proud, CEO of PowerHousing Australia, a national peak representative body for social and affordable housing has called on Federal parliamentarians to prioritise the development of a national housing strategy and multi-billion budget investment to address the crisis.
"With the Federal election to be called in May, we have written to and calling for Federal parliamentarians to consider the mounting challenge whereby the price rise in just one year requires an additional decade of being in debt to buy the same house.
"The increased purchase price of a home in Gilmore means a typical household will have 10 years added to the duration of their loan at an average cost of $353,065 over the life of the loan.
"This puts home ownership outside of the reach of many households in the region where current rental supply is vastly outstripped by demand," Proud said.
PowerHousing members Housing Trust and Southern Cross Housing are on the frontline of the housing crisis in the region and both organisations are managing and building new affordable rental housing.
Housing Trust CEO, Michele Adair said the scale of the affordable rental housing crisis requires intervention from the Federal Government.
"The cost of housing is by far the single biggest factor in the cost of living," she said.
"For regional communities like Gilmore this is further compounded by the cost of petrol prices, bushfires, the pandemic and recent floods.
"Both Southern Cross and Housing Trust have several hundred homes in our development pipelines but these are not even close to meeting the demand for a safe affordable home on the South Coast.
"We need to see a serious commitment from the new government to tackle this issue," Adair said.
PowerHousing is seeking to ensure the next Federal Government addresses the rising affordability challenges by:
• Developing a national plan for housing;
• Building or funding additional social and affordable rental housing that ensures a net increase not just replacement of older stock;
• Incentivising private equity investment and invest with Community Housing providers to fund 30,000 homes over the next 5 years.
Gilmore Electorate Overview
Dwelling Value 2021 Median Dwelling value increase ranking: 1 out of 151 Electorates
2021 Median Dwelling value increase: 39.52%
2021 Median Dwelling value: $883,384
2020 Median Dwelling value: $633,165
Rents 2021 Median Dwelling rents increase ranking: 33 out of 151 Electorates
2021 Median Dwelling rents increase: 12.53%
2021 Median Dwelling rent value: $553 per week
Electorate Mean Employee Income (2022 Estimate) $55,315
(Source CoreLogic, PowerHousing Australia, ABS - March 2022)
Images: Travis Winks, Housing Trust and AEC