Housing costs deter downsizing, changing jobs and having children
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Housing costs deter downsizing, changing jobs and having children

The soaring cost of stamp duty is making more Australians think twice about major life decisions

By Bronwyn Allen
Thu, Feb 15, 2024 9:58amGrey Clock 2 min

Housing costs, including a fivefold increase in stamp duty in just one generation, are dissuading Australians from rightsizing their homes at different stages of life, changing jobs and having children. A new report by economic research firm e61 Institute found  a quarter of Australians under 40 years of age have delayed changing jobs and more than one in five aged 30 to 40 years have put off having children due to the costs of changing homes.

The research is based on a survey of 3,000 Australians conducted last year that asked them a series of questions on their attitudes toward housing. It also found that almost 25 percent of family homeowners aged 50 or older who own properties with more bedrooms than household occupiers are putting off downsizing specifically to avoid the transfer tax.

While the cost of moving encompasses many expenses, the research shows stamp duty is an outsized component that has increased considerably since the early-to-mid 1980s amid property prices rising exponentially. The typical stamp duty bill now equates to an average of five months’ worth of take-home pay.

In Sydney, a median-priced home demands $44,500 in stamp duty, which is a 5.4-fold increase in four decades. Stamp duty in Melbourne is $42,500, which is a 6.1-fold increase and the largest among the cities. In Brisbane, the median property purchase demands $25,900 in stamp duty from investors, which is a 5.5-fold increase. But current concessions for owner-occupiers in Queensland reduce this to $18,700.

The report notes that deterrents to moving hurt people’s wellbeing directly and indirectly.

The direct costs are about being held back from a better-suited home — like closer to family, work, schools or other amenities, or a more appropriate amount of space,” the report states. “The indirect costs play out in the aggregate. Holding back people from changing jobs can weaken productivity, which can dampen wage growth and bolster inflation. And when people don’t downsize, scarce housing runs short.

Abolishing stamp duty was the most popular option chosen by respondents when asked about their main priorities for state and territory housing policies.

Dr Nick Garvin, e61 Institute’s research manager, said: Governments and policymakers must consider the unpopularity of stamp duty, and the indirect impacts stamp duty has on various other parts of the economy and people’s lives.”



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Australia’s top 10 most affordable regional property markets investors should watch

Whether you prefer the country or the coast, there are plenty of east coast options for cashed up buyers

By Bronwyn Allen
Fri, Apr 19, 2024 3 min

There are 10 local council areas scattered along the East Coast of Australia that offer both affordability and solid fundamentals for sustainable future growth, according to the research team at residential property network, PRD. The areas have been selected based on five criterion. They are affordability – defined as a median house price below $600,000, rising house values, strong rental yields to encourage investment, a strong pipeline of residential, commercial and infrastructure projects to facilitate local economic development, and low unemployment.

Here are Australia’s 10 most affordable regional property markets with great future potential.

Mackay, QLD

Mackay is a tropical coastal area located in north Queensland. It’s known for its closeconnection to the Great Barrier Reef. The median house price is $462,750, up 8.9 percent in 2023. Mackay attracts a lot of interstate migrants and is home to more than 120,000 people. It has a healthy economy with an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent and $1.7 billion worth of projects due to commence this year.

Toowoomba, QLD

The Toowoomba median house price was up 10.9 percent in 2023.

Toowoomba is located west of Brisbane and is known for its Victorian buildings, street artand surrounding national parks. The median house price is $560,000, up 10.9 percent in 2023. The city has a population of more than 180,000. The unemployment rate is 4 percentand there is $6.1 billion in projects commencing in 2024.

Townsville, QLD

Townsville is a coastal city in north-eastern Queensland. The median house price is $420,000, up 5 percent in 2023. It is home to more than 200,000 people. Unemployment is very low at 2.5 percent and there is $3.2 billion of projects commencing this year.

Dubbo, NSW

Dubbo is located west of Newcastle in the Orana Region and is home to the Western Plains Zoo. The median house price is $530,000, up 11.6 percent in 2023. The population has exploded in recent years to more than 56,000 people. The unemployment rate is just 2.2percent and the economy is thriving. There is a pipeline of $4.7 billion in projects commencing this year.

Tamworth, NSW

Located in north-east NSW, Tamworth is known for its popular annual Country Music Festival. It’s also the largest retail centre for the New England and Northwest Slopes regions. The median house price is $490,000, up 14 percent in 2023. With a population of more than 65,000 people, the economy is strong with unemployment of just 2 percent and $112.4million worth of projects commencing this year.

Griffith, NSW

Located west of Sydney and northwest of Canberra, Griffith is known for its prime produce production and wine cultivation. The median house price is $531,000, up 2.1 percent in 2023. Griffith’s population is about 27,000 people. The city boasts high economic resilience with a 2 percent unemployment rate and $258.7 million in projects in the pipeline.

Ballarat, VIC

Ballarat, Victoria

Ballarat is a 1.5hour drive west of Melbourne. It’s popular with city commuters who move here for housing affordability and a relaxed lifestyle with easy access to the city via train. The median house price is $570,000, down 4.2 percent in 2023 but up 92.9 percent over the past decade. The city has the third highest population in Victoria at about 118,000. Ballarat has an unemployment rate of 3 percent and a total projects pipeline worth $2.3 billion for 2024.

Shepparton, VIC

Shepparton is a rural area about two hours north of Melbourne. It is popularly referred to as the food bowl of Australia. The median house price is $475,000, up 4.4 percent in 2023. The population is about 70,000. The unemployment rate is just 2 percent and there is $1.8 billion in projects for 2024.

Wodonga, VIC

Wodonga is located on the border of NSW on the southern side of the Murray River. It is approximately 320km from Melbourne and 345km from Canberra. The median house price is $567,250, up 4.7 percent in 2023. With a population of about 44,000, the city’s jobless rate is 3 percent and there is $388.2 million in development set to commence in 2024, primarily new infrastructure.

Burnie, TAS

Burnie is a bustling port city located in Emu Bay in Tasmania’s north-west. Overlooking beaches and parklands, the area is known for its rich agriculture and mining projects. The median house price is $435,000, up 3.6 percent. Despite a rising population, the unemployment rate is falling and is currently 5.6 percent. In 2024, Burnie’s project pipeline is valued at approximately $1.6 billion. A significant portion is commercial development, primarily renewable energy projects.

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