A couple of new reports have painted a bleak picture of rental stress on the Gold Coast, showing it’s been a prevalent issue even before the coronavirus crisis.
Seek Data and Analytics ranked a number three Gold Coast suburbs among the top 10 in the state for being at risk of mortgage and rental stress, due to the city’s reliance on tourism.
Southport, Surfers and Pimpama are the most at risk, according to data that considers the industries that residents work in and current pressures on rent and wage.
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However, a different reports shows that rental stress isn’t a new problem for the Gold Coast, with rental stress very much present before the COVID-19 crisis.
The Affordable Housing Income Gap Report by Compass Housing Services shows that there was already a trend of rents increasing above inflation in Brisbane and most parts of regional Queensland – including the Gold Coast.
We land on a list of the least affordable for renting in regional Queensland, with detached houses deemed affordable, while apartments are generally considered affordable for renters.
The Report measures housing affordability for renters by establishing the amount of additional income a typical renting household needs to avoid housing stress on various types of dwellings in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.
Report author, Martin Kennedy says housing stress isn’t just something experienced by people on low incomes.
“Even before the current crisis working families with average incomes often struggled to rent suitable properties close to jobs.
“Throw in the possibility of reduced hours or a job loss due to COVID-19 and things can become very tough indeed.
“Although rents are expected to fall in the short term due to more stock coming on to the market, they may not fall far enough to become affordable for typical renting households.
“More to the point, it shouldn’t take a global pandemic, closed borders and widespread lockdowns to bring median rents more in line with median incomes.”
“The problems renters face are largely due to purchase prices being too high and social housing supply being too low.”
“Unfortunately, people who can’t afford to buy, and don’t qualify for social housing, have no option but to cut back elsewhere and try to manage as best they can,” Mr Kennedy said.
The Report’s recommendations include:
- the construction of 500,000 social and affordable housing dwellings in the next 10 years
- stricter controls on residential mortgage lending to keep borrowings to realistic multiples of household income
- repealing stamp duty in favour of a broad-based land tax
- relaxing urban growth boundaries which artificially ration the supply of land
- scrapping first home buyer grants and stamp duty exemptions
- giving renters more support and stronger protection under state and territory tenancy laws
- alternative allocation models for social housing.
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