The value of Australia’s housing market now stands at close to $10 trillion after growing at the fastest annual pace in at least 18 years during 2021.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics said residential property prices rose 23.7 per cent through 2021, the strongest annual growth since its records began in the September quarter of 2003.
It said the value of residential dwellings has risen by just over $2 trillion since the December quarter 2020.
In the December quarter of last year, the mean price of residential dwellings in Australia was $920,100, up from $876,100 in the September quarter 2021.
ABS head of prices statistics Michelle Marquardt said property prices rose 4.7 per cent in the December quarter, consistent with a range of housing market indicators.
New lending commitments for housing rose to a record high value in the December quarter.
“Record low interest rates and strong demand have continued to support growth in property prices”, Ms Marquardt said.
More up to date figures from CoreLogic show the prices for homes continued to climb in the early stages of 2022, albeit at a slower pace as housing affordability becomes even more stretched.
Labor’s housing spokesman Jason Clare has argued for years that there is a housing crisis.
“It’s harder to buy than ever before and harder to rent than ever before, and there are more homeless Aussies today than ever before,” Mr Clare told Sky News while touring the flood ravaged NSW town of Chinderah.
Labor has promised a $10 billion Housing Australia Future Fund to build social housing and affordable housing should it win the federal election due in May.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison reminded voters at the weekend that since the last election, his government had helped more than 300,000 Australians into their home by helping them reduce the size of their deposit from 20 per cent to five per cent.
Last week, the Housing Industry Association called for housing and home ownership to be a priority whoever wins the election.
It estimates that 1.66 million houses will need to be built by 2030 just to keep up with the demand from population growth.
It wants land supply unlocked through speedier zoning, subdivision and development processes across all states and territories.
The association also believes there has been an underinvestment in social and community housing that has persisted for decades.
Homelessness advocate Everybody’s Home believes 25,000 social and affordable housing properties should be built immediately.
“The real housing supply issue is in social and affordable housing, which is now the lowest share of overall housing stock it’s been in decades,” Everybody’s Home’s Kate Colvin told AAP.
“People on low and modest incomes are caught in a brutal competition for rental properties that are surging in price. They are being pushed to the brink of homelessness.”