National Housing Affordability Declines
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National Housing Affordability Declines

However, New South Wales and South Australia saw improvements in affordability in the quarter.

By Kanebridge News
Wed, Jun 2, 2021 4:37pmGrey Clock < 1 min

Both housing and rental affordability has declined, the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s Housing Affordability Report has found.

Although housing affordability improved in New South Wales and South Australia and remained steady in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, it declined in Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

REIA President Adrian Kelly stated that housing affordability across Australia has declined, with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increasing to 34.7%, a rise of 0.1 percentage points over the quarter.

However, when compared to the same quarter of 2020 – housing affordability improved by 0.5 percentage points.

Meanwhile, rental affordability declined with the proportion of income required to meet median rents increasing to 24.4%, an increase of 0.4% over the March quarter and an increase of 0.7% over the past 12 months.

Mr Kelly added that the number of first home buyers had decreased by 4.4% over the quarter, but a rise of 62.6% over the last 12 months. Now, first home buyers make up 40.% of owner-occupier dwelling commitments.

“Over the March quarter, the average loan size grew to $506,340, an increase of 1.0% over the quarter and a rise of 2.6% over the past 12 months. During the quarter, the average loan size increased in all states and territories except New South Wales and South Australia. Over the past 12 months, the average loan size rose in all states and territories, ranging from 2.3% in Victoria to 10.8% in Tasmania,” Mr Kelly said.


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Wild cities and concrete corridors: How AI is reimagining the landscape

A new AI-driven account by leading landscape architect Jon Hazelwood pushes the boundaries on the role of ‘complex nature’ in the future of our cities

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Dec 6, 2023 2 min

Drifts of ground cover plants and wildflowers along the steps of the Sydney Opera House, traffic obscured by meadow-like planting and kangaroos pausing on city streets.

This is the way our cities could be, as imagined by landscape architect Jon Hazelwood, principal at multi-disciplinary architectural firm Hassell. He has been exploring the possibilities of rewilding urban spaces using AI for his Instagram account, Naturopolis_ai with visually arresting outcomes.

“It took me a few weeks to get interesting results,” he said. “I really like the ephemeral nature of the images — you will never see it again and none of those plants are real. 

“The AI engine makes an approximation of a grevillea.”

Hazelwood chose some of the most iconic locations in Australia, including the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, as well as international cities such as Paris and London, to demonstrate the impact of untamed green spaces on streetscapes, plazas and public space.

He said he hopes to provoke a conversation about the artificial separation between our cities and the broader environment, exploring ways to break down the barriers and promote biodiversity.

“A lot of the planning (for public spaces) is very limited,” Hazelwood said. “There are 110,000 species of plants in Australia and we probably use about 12 in our (public) planting schemes. 

“Often it’s for practical reasons because they’re tough and drought tolerant — but it’s not the whole story.”

Hazelwood pointed to the work of UK landscape architect Prof Nigel Dunnett, who has championed wild garden design in urban spaces. He has drawn interest in recent years for his work transforming the brutalist apartment block at the Barbican in London into a meadow-like environment with diverse plantings of grasses and perennials.

Hazelwood said it is this kind of ‘complex nature’ that is required for cities to thrive into the future, but it can be hard to convince planners and developers of the benefits.

“We have been doing a lot of work on how we get complex nature because complexity of species drives biodiversity,” he said. 

“But when we try to propose the space the questions are: how are we going to maintain it? Where is the lawn?

“A lot of our work is demonstrating you can get those things and still provide a complex environment.” 

At the moment, Hassell together with the University of Melbourne is trialling options at the Hills Showground Metro Station in Sydney, where the remaining ground level planting has been replaced with more than 100 different species of plants and flowers to encourage diversity without the need for regular maintenance. But more needs to be done, Hazelwood said.

“It needs bottom-up change,” he said. ““There is work being done at government level around nature positive cities, but equally there needs to be changes in the range of plants that nurseries grow, and in the way our city landscapes are maintained and managed.”

And there’s no AI option for that. 


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