We now have a portfolio dedicated to housing, which we haven't seen in recent governments.
This scheme allows some borrowers to bring forward their purchase of a home, without having to pay mortgage insurance and using a deposit as low as 5 per cent. While this policy will have a significant impact on housing affordability for some buyers it’s not without risk.
Borrowers need to be careful that they can repay the loan when interest rates rise and that they don’t get themselves into financial stress by taking on too much debt, lured by a scheme that may not make housing cheaper or more affordable.
The government’s announcement of the Hon Michael Sukkar MP as Minister for Housing – while not a policy as such – is good news for housing affordability.
It certainly helps that Sukkar is also our Assistant Treasurer. By combining these roles, we see a potential acknowledgement that housing plays an important economic role in Australia, for individuals but also for the economy.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute recently commissioned work around this issue, as have others. So there’s a growing awareness that housing is a much broader economic influence.