Land Supply Strangled by Speculators
Earthsharing Australia has released the first ‘I Want to Live Here’ Report, demonstrating the extent to which speculative vacancies are the hidden issue in the housing affordability debate.
The ‘I Want to Live Here’ report found that 1058 people could live on vacant sites within the Bluestone Ward (City of Maribyrnong). This Google Earth photo of Bluestone Ward West shows a snapshot of some of the many vacancies.
“Housing affordability debates focussed on government controlled land supply were today dispelled” stated Karl Fitzgerald, the report’s author.
“It is the privately controlled supply of land by speculative interests that is heating the market to record levels. It is also driving the argument for unlimited sprawl.”
“Even if Commonwealth Land was put onto the market, speculative interests would snap up the property and drip feed it to the market. History shows that land release only leads to more designer suburbs with a focus on ‘lifestyle’ living, not affordable housing. First home owners cannot compete with speculators under the current tax regime.”
The findings include:
* 1058 people could live in 430 vacant properties within this municipality.
* 93% of these were vacant blocks of land.
* The ‘official’ vacancy rate should include ‘speculative vacancies’ to reflect the genuine vacancies in the land and property market.
The report’s findings on speculative vacancies were discovered by Earthsharing Australia in an extensive survey of the Bluestone Ward, covering parts of Footscray, Footscray West and Tottenham.
“Victoria’s much publicised Vacancy Rate of 1.4% radically understates the true situation in the land and property market. ‘Speculative vacancies’ are not included in this figure. Only properties on the rental market are included by the Real Estate Institute of Victoria in their vacancy statistics.”
“Young people are bidding for rental properties, paying months in advance to secure a place to live, yet they are surrounded by vacant land and housing that is shut off to them in the name of private profit. Neither political party is offering any solution to this issue.”
“The questions we must ask are ‘Why don’t either of the political parties promote the taxing of economic rents?’ and ‘Why are property developers the major beneficiaries of the ‘solutions’ on offer?'”
Speculating on the Great Australian Dream should be deterred by a Federally implemented Site Rental charge on all land, replacing income taxes.