“Sixty-four pages, eighteen graphs and bar charts (many not seen before), crammed with practical, sensible information. It tells the story of the housing affordability crisis at it is.” – Dick Smith
It would be fair to expect that as our society moves ahead that it becomes better off.
That is, things become more affordable and easier to purchase.
It’s obvious that cars, TV sets, and travel are more affordable now than they’ve ever been. However, there is one standout where things are reversed – housing affordability.
Something has definitely gone wrong here and it’s creating lasting economic and social divisions in Australia.
Pip and I were able to buy a house in Sydney for $32,000 in the 1970s.
Because it was a reasonable price relative to our incomes at the time, we were able to put more money into expanding Dick Smith Electronics, and employ lots of people.
If we tried to do the same thing today, virtually all of our money would have to go into paying off our house; the business may never have been started.
Think about all the Australian entrepreneurs that we may never hear of because this housing crisis is holding them back. What a tragedy for our country.
The housing affordability crisis is an issue that currently dominates our public debate – and for good reason. Shelter is a basic need, and our housing sector is of central importance to both the financial welfare of individual Australians, and the robustness of our whole economy. Sadly, though, it’s a debate that is weighed down on all sides by misinformation, vested interests, political timidity, and ideological blinkers.
I have nothing to gain or lose from the housing affordability crisis – I sold Dick Smith Electronics in the 1980s, and I don’t own any property that I’ve leased to someone else to live in.
I’m not scared to say what the economists, the politicians, and the media won’t tell you. I just want Australians to hear the full story from someone they can trust.
In these pages, I will show how Australia has shifted from viewing homes as a place for a family to live in with security, to seeing it as a tax-advantaged investment opportunity, how this has caused home ownership to become up to eight times less affordable that it was in the past, and why this has negative implications for the whole of Australia.
I will show how a dramatically increasing population, a tax regime that unfairly subsidises the wealthy, and overseas investors are the key drivers of this crisis.
I will also canvas what we could do to fix it all if we really wanted to, and put the spotlight on those vested interests that will try to get in the way of any government taking the meaningful action we need to give young Australians a Fair Go.
An informed people is the first step to making change, so I hope that you find this useful in understanding a complex and serious issue for our country.