Australia may face critical housing shortage by 2020

CANBERRA (Australia): The latest Australia Housing Industry Association (HIA) Housing to 2020 report has estimated that the country will require 1.6 million homes over the next nine years. It may face a critical housing shortage by 2020 if the current rate of supply does not pick up.

“If we continue to build at the average rate of the last 20 years then many areas in the country will face a critical housing shortage by 2020. The cumulative national shortage could approach 500,900 dwellings,” said HIA senior economist Andrew Harvey.

“Housing to 2020 is the most comprehensive report available regarding homes Australia builds compared with what we need to build. The report’s projections highlight just how large the aggregate housing supply challenge facing Australia has become,” said Harvey.

The greatest housing supply challenge is in New South Wales, which could reach a shortage of 155,700 dwellings by 2020 in the absence of policy reforms.

The projected shortages by 2020 under the same scenario in other states and territories are 104,200 dwellings in Victoria; 112,000 in Western Australia; 91,800 in Queensland; 24,600 in South Australia; 12,500 in the Northern Territory; and 1,400 in the ACT. However, Tasmania could reach a projected surplus of 1,300 houses by 2020.

The HIA is Australia’s largest residential building organisation and the report provides projections of the demographic demand for housing and the number of dwellings to be completed over the next nine years in national, state and local government areas.

This article appeared on the Property page, The Edge Financial Daily, September 9, 2011.

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