First home buyer support – be careful what you wish for

Unfortunately the NSW budget announcement is consistent with long-term trends – of inadequate investment and social housing stock that is barely keeping up with demand or population growth. This was evident in the June Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report which confirmed that were 440,200 social housing dwellings nationwide at June 2021, an increase of less than 1% in the previous 12 months. This slight increase however, has failed to arrest a decade-long decline in stock.

Between 2011 to 2021, the proportion of social housing households nationally declined from 4.8% to 4.2%. 

This type of progress and investment stands in stark contrast to the estimated $20 billion invested in various first home buyer schemes during the same decade. According to recent AHURI research, these schemes have ultimately subsidised homebuyers who were already about to purchase, added to demand and pushed up property prices.

On a relatively brighter note as reported in this article in The Guardian however, it appears NSW is the only state making inroads, albeit modest, recording a 3,508 net increase in social housing units last year to 159,527, and an overall net increase since 2014 of 13,000 homes.