Australia sees more homeless people

A UBS survey showed that overseas properties owned by mainland Chinese are not fully-utilised, with 25 percent of Chinese buyers leaving their apartments vacant while another 25 percent use their homes on a temporary basis

The booming economy has boosted home prices in Australia, making it harder for many ordinary citizens to buy a house. 

Despite its stellar economic growth, Australia is witnessing an increasing level of homelessness, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, reported AFP.

This comes as the country’s unprecedented economic expansion, which was driven by the mining investment boom, boosted home prices and increased the wealth of many citizens.

The skyrocketing housing prices have made it even harder for those already struggling to get on the property ladder to purchase their own home.

The public outcry on housing affordability has resulted in the federal and state governments funding more social and affordable housing projects.

“Australia is a wealthy country and so it shouldn’t have the levels of homelessness that it does have,” said Homelessness New South Wales (NSW) Chief, Katherine McKernan.

“If you compare it to London and New York, the numbers of people seeking homelessness support are comparatively higher. We think that homelessness is increasing in Sydney and Melbourne due to the lack of affordable housing.”

Sydney and Melbourne are listed to have the second and 10th least affordable housing markets in the world.

AIHW, Australia’s agency for health and welfare statistics, revealed that demand for homelessness services jumped 33 percent from 2011-2012 to hit a record high of 279,000 individuals in 2015-2016.

In fact, the 2011 national census showed that over 100,000 individuals were homeless, and welfare groups expect the most recent survey conducted in 2016 to show an increase.

 

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email romesh@propertyguru.com.sg