Super, not so super

Curtin University students share their thoughts on the housing crisis. Video: Holly Prentice.

Industry experts have questioned a proposal for young Australians to use superannuation to buy their first home.

The Coalition announced the Super Home Buyers scheme on Sunday which would allow people to use up to 40 per cent of their superannuation to buy a home.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia vice president Joe White says this proposal won’t fix the housing crisis as issues lie with supply and demand more than affordability.

“In short, there is really a crisis in supply,” he says.

“I can’t see that it actually addresses the problem of supply. What worries me is we’re currently in a pretty heated market which was said to drive the prices up, I’m not convinced that it’s the right thing to do.”

Mr White says a major issue facing Australia’s youth is there are not enough suitable homes available.

“We are not as an industry delivering enough diversity, particularly for young people,” he says.

“We’re either very good at building 25-story apartment blocks with very high strata fees or building four-bed-two-bathroom boxes on outer suburbs.

“We’re very bad at building small unit developments that young people can afford to buy or live in.”

About 65 per cent of Australians believe that owning a home isn’t an option for young people anymore, according to the ABC’s Australia Talks survey.

Home Group Southwest general manager Shaun Palfrey says the biggest issues facing the housing industry, such as limited materials and delays, won’t be fixed by the Super Home Buyers Scheme.

“As far as our industry’s concerned, it’s just crazy out there across all aspects,” he says. “The supply chain has constant issues getting materials for building. Constant issues with rising prices, and then you’ve got the labour shortages as well.

“Land availability is so limited, too. If you don’t grab a block while it’s there, you miss out.”

Housing prices and cost of living pressures have emerged as major issues in the Federal election campaign.  

Categories: General