Visiting housing affordability expert Frank de Jong said ‘the Census shows 830,376 vacant dwellings in the country. This demonstrates that it is the private supply of land withheld by speculators, rather than the need for more urban sprawl, that is hurting the housing market’

‘Census figures confirm this by showing that housing has grown by 1.5%, and population growth only 1.2%. So where are all the extra houses disappearing?’

‘Even if we most conservatively judge 90% of these vacancies as holiday houses, there are still double as many properties available for the public housing waiting list.’

‘Land and housing should be for useful purposes, not speculation’

Vacancy statistics are grossly understated by the absence of properties withheld from sale by speculators in lieu of capital gains.

The tax system needs to be addressed to give less favours to speculators. Incentives for the productive use of land must be prioritised. Land is for business and housing, not capital gains.

‘Howard’s legacy is the replacement of ‘reward for effort’ with reward for gambling. Buying and selling is bad for the economy and bad for future generations’ stated de Jong.

The I Want to Live Here campaign is a grass roots campaign to lobby for more accurate vacancy figures. The land market should be as efficient as the capital and labour market. Where is the competition in the land market? Speculative largesse is holding the Great Australian Dream to ransom.