The One Million Vacant Homes Question…

The recent release of 2021 Census data revealed a shocking “one million homes were unoccupied”.

This statistic sent housing commentators, government agencies and policymakers into a spin. At a time of significant housing shortages, this extra million homes would surely make a big difference. They could provide housing for some homeless, ease the rental affordability crisis, and get first-home owners into their first home.

There has been a great deal of speculation about how this has happened. Has it been caused by overseas millionaires buying up housing and leaving it as an empty investment? Is it Airbnb taking up homes that could be used for families? Or are cashed-up Gen-Xers double-consuming by living in one house while renovating another?

So, why were 1,043,776 dwellings empty on census night?

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Written by Walk The World


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  1. I dont see a problem here what business is it of the Government?
    Providing no crimes have taken place. Stop asking Governments to solve problems, we dont need big brother for communist solutions.

  2. Money laundering through Australian property is well known internationally amongst criminals. None of us want our property prices to go down so we all look the other way, politicians more so than anyone else. The next generation suffers, but hey as long as I am ok!

  3. Should be outlawed,with removal of incentives to an appropriate degree,too many people are suffering.Albanese and company seem fixated on their personal property interests,catering to the substantial private bankster etc donors etc.More to invest in than property.

  4. As the owner of one of those "empty" houses, why would i want the government dictating what i can do with my private property ? We bought our 7 room cottage nextdoor with much sacrifice and diy renovation toil, to get rid of alcoholic neighbours. Only way we could stay in our own home. During the past 12 years it has been available to family and friends who have needed it. We have been happy to absorb the rates, water costs etc and not claim any tax benefits. Not everyone is motivated by money. What about migrant numbers ?

  5. The economic cost of carrying an asset is the opportunity cost of its current value Mr. North. That opportunity cost depends, in many cases, on 'feelings' about the 'future' – you know those bloody expectations that are supposed to be 'rational'. In a couple of hours we are going to have another injection of an aspect of Reality that is going to hurt many of those 'feelings' Mr. North.

    Empty houses? Remember, even if your not financing an asset with debt that opportunity cost still exists and even the dullest of minds will eventually by thumped by it.

  6. I live in a 200 unit apartment block on the GC. I estimate more than 10% of the parking never have cars in them. When I look around at other blocks at night either a lot of people go to bed before sunset and never turn their lights on or there is also a very high percentage of empty units.
    However, we don't live in a communist country, you are free to do what you want with your own personal property. It is not my job to provide housing for people, it is the governments.

  7. Rising intetest rates and rising rents will go a long way to getting people in those homes.
    Another thing that would help is having less regulations dictating the standard of rental properties.
    If a property is not going to be used fir 6 months, it could be rented out, however if renovations are required to meet legal requirements, maybe it's not worth it.

  8. A lot of houses would need serious renovating before rental.
    I don't see why people should busy body about those who own vacant houses.
    Excess land banking by developers is another matter.

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