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Low income earners hardest hit

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ALEXANDER DOWNER S h a d o w M in ister fo r H ousing, S m all Business & C u sto m s



COMMONWEALTH parliame; ' ,ν.Λ t l.l .;a r y IvilCAH

The Federal Opposition has said that the latest Real Estate Institute monthly survey of residential property markets announced today shows that home ownership is no longer an option for low and middle income earners, particularly in Sydney.

Shadow Minister for Housing, Alexander Downer, said today that the figures reveal that residential property price rises have been most significant in the lower quarter of the market.

"It was a tragedy for marginal income first-time buyers that they are being squeezed out of the market as the 22% decline in applications for grants under the Governments First Home Owners Scheme show."

Percentage price rises in the lower quarter of the market were highest in Sydney, where there had been a 65.7% increase.

"Yet for the Treasurer's friends at the big end of town, they have only suffered a 41.2% increase in house prices", Mr Downer said.

"Labor's obsession with high interest rates as the sole instrument of economic management has only added to the burden of low income Australians, but again, it doesn't worry the Eddie Kornhauser's and Warren Anderson's of the world"

Mr Downer said the Government should use a bigger proportion of the housing budget to help first home owners; that it should act to sell surplus Commonwealth land in Sydney in particular to ease supply pressures and that it should restructure public housing policies altogether.

"Only then will the Government succeed in providing assistance to people in real need";not just government for "DINKS"- double income, no kids households," Mr.Downer said.

"Gone are the days when a lower income family can have children and own their own homes."

1 December 1988

For Further Information Contact: Alexander Downer (062) 774500

Office No. (08) 391 0888