House prices in Canberra have sky-rocketed over the last few years.
When working for the ACT government some years ago, I remember the discussion about the “live in Canberra” campaign and how to attract people here. One of the big selling points here has always been that housing was more affordable. So, now that’s gone. Obviously we all see benefits of living here but people taking that first step in a big interstate move need a hook and that was one of the good ones!
So, what are the factors in the price rise? Not just interstate investment. Definitely higher building prices is a factor, so what keeps the big project home players out of the market here? – someone was talking about that recently on RiotACT.
Maybe the ACT government’s approach to land releases is a factor – slowing supply? And this is a side issue, but the new blocks are small – big houses, small courtyards. Is this what families moving here escaping the bigger cities want? Is it what local families want? I lived a while in Wollongong, which has a similar sized population. When building a house there, there was a required “green envelope” area around the house ie the house could only take out a certain portion of the property with the rest to be landscaped, so double storey houses were a good option and then you could get cheap plants from the botanic gardens each year by taking your rates notice to show you were local (I think here its just a one-off supply of free plants after you first build, but could be wrong?). So, we were encouraged to have green areas around the house, not just tiny concreted entertaining areas on the side of your house!
I’d like to hear what the government’s thinking is on the rising price of housing in Canberra, as this obviously makes it harder both for locals to get their first home or move as their family situation changes, and for attracting people to live and work in Canberra. So, what is the Government’s approach to attracting people to Canberra now (presumably still a goal of the ACT Government?) and what are its plans for making housing more affordable for locals. (And by the way, the usual “affordable housing” (cheaper and even smaller) options they offer in the new developments don’t seem so affordable either!)