Melbourne vacancies defy affordability pressures


Melbourne vacancies defy affordability pressures

Posted on Wednesday, December 09 2015 at 1:26 PM

Melbourne-based non-government organisation Prosper Australia has released a report indicating more than 80,000 habitable properties could be vacant across Greater Melbourne.

Prosper Australia’s 2015 Speculative Vacancies Report suggests that
up to 18.9 per cent of investor-owned property is vacant, with the speculative
vacancy rate increasing by 22 per cent in 2014.

The annual report looks at
abnormally low water consumption over 12 months as a proxy for vacancy when
determining its speculative vacancy figures.

Karl Fitzgerald, project director at
Prosper Australia, says there are incentives for investors to keep investments
out of the rental pool.

“The findings prove we do not have a
housing supply crisis, we are literally locked out.”

Fitzgerald says capital gains
accelerated in 2014 and this saw the number of vacant properties held for
speculative investment rise.

The results were determined by identifying
households using less than 50 litres of water per day.

“According to our most conservative
measure, those using zero litres of water increased by a concerning 70 per
cent,” Fitzgerald says.

“Up to 18.9 per cent of all
investment properties lie empty.

“This report demonstrates over eight
years that hoarding is magnified in periods of increased speculation.”

Fitzgerald has called on the government
to look at the demand and supply imbalance and pursue policies to address the

“When there are three times as many
empty houses as there are homeless people, we know the policy focus is just

Fitzgerald says the report only
covers Greater Melbourne, and believes the research should be applied

“This key economic data simply must
be collected by government and we call on PM Malcolm Turnbull to fund the ABS
to officially measure speculative vacancies.”

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