The Age reports today that the Victoria state government, led by Premier John Brumby intends to release considerable amounts of land for housing development to improve affordability. The announcement comes as demographers predict that Melbourne is poised to retake its 19th century position as the nation’s largest urban area. Sydney, which has been the largest urban area since the early 1900s has been reeling under some of the world’s most radical smart growth policies, which have pushed housing prices up substantially relative to incomes. Moreover, recent New South Wales governments have demonstrated an ideological opposition to the automobile that has produced some of the worst traffic congestion in the Anglosphere. A recent survey indicated that one in five Sydney residents were considering leaving, and out-migration from has been substantial.
It is to be hoped that other Australian states will follow Victoria’s lead by breaking the shackles of overly zealous land regulation that have done so much to destroy the Great Australian Dream.
Demographia is pleased to have been among the first to bring Australia’s untenable housing affordability situation to public attention and its regulation related causes. The Fourth Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey was published in January.
(The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey is co-authored by Wendell Cox and Hugh Pavletich.)