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The Treasurer's Housing Affordability Speech Illustrated With Fucking Depressing House Listings

Oh hey, look, a $2.5 million dump.

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Treasurer Scott Morrison has delivered a major speech about housing affordability, conceding that homes in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are becoming "increasingly unaffordable" but saying that does not make them overvalued.

Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

Until now Morrison has avoided getting too involved in the national debate around Australia's spiralling housing costs, largely keeping the issue off the table during this year's election.

On Monday, speaking to the Urban Development Institute, Morrison blamed the breathtaking increases in house prices on state governments that need to release more land to build more homes.

On an entirely unrelated note, here's a fixer-upper (or rather "select, salvage, start from scratch") going for sale in Sydney's inner city in a few weeks for $2.5 million.

"Over the past 20 years, the proportion of outright owners has declined while those paying off their house or renting in the private market has increased," said Morrison.

"When combining both outright ownership and those paying off a mortgage, the proportion of Australian households that own their own home has fallen from 71% to 67% over the past 20 years."

Meanwhile, remember earlier this year when a Sydney house where someone's body remained untouched for eight years sold for more than $1 million? Good times.

Morrison again dismissed Labor's suggestions that housing would be more affordable for new homebuyers if the government abolished generous negative gearing provisions on old homes.

"[Labor's policy was] designed to undermine the value of people's homes by removing one in three buyers from the market," he said.

"This not only would break the purchase chain on which the development of new stock depends, but undermine consumer confidence, drive up rents, and weaken our banking system, given the extensive exposure our banks have to the housing sector."


But hey, if you're in the market for a beach box, there's a private one for sale with a starting price of $88,000 on Victoria's Rosebud Foreshore. It has "water views".

The treasurer also had some depressing statistics about declining home ownership among young people.

He said: "Between 2002 and 2014, Australian home ownership among 25- to 34-year-olds declined from 38.7% to 29.2%. ... For 35- to 44-year-olds it fell from 63.2% to 52.4%."

Btw, remember that dump in Brunswick that Beyoncé sang in front of... Yeah, you could have got it for a steal at $650,000.

Morrison also articulated what we've known about Sydney and Melbourne property for a while: Prices have exploded.

"In Sydney and Melbourne prices have risen around 65% and 40% respectively since their early 2012 lows," he said.

"Sydney and Melbourne prices have grown by around 10% in the past year."

In 2014, this single-car garage in Sydney was advertised with a starting price of $800,000. Yay.

According to Morrison, a different story is playing out in Perth and Darwin, where the end of the mining boom has seen house prices fall 7% in recent years.

Meanwhile, this 64-square-metre block, marketed as a "rare and affordable opportunity" in Melbourne, was sold for $1.3 million. LOOK HOW TINY IT IS!!!!!

Cayzer / Via

In the last five years, Morrison said, the time taken for a dual-income couple to save for a 20% home deposit has increased from 5.8 to 7.8 years in Sydney, and from 5.3 to 5.8 years in Melbourne.

Yet, despite it all, the treasurer had this core message:

"Housing in Australia, especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, is expensive and increasingly unaffordable, but that does not mean it is overvalued."

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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