Earthsharing Australia, our sister organisation, had its I Want to Live Here report quoted today in the Age article Agents accused of hyping up real estate crisis.

Social justice group Prosper Australia analysed residential meter readings over six months and found more than 7 per cent of properties used less water than is required for one person to survive.

Study author Tohm Curtis said the findings suggested that many investors could not be bothered with the upkeep and fees associated with owning rental property.

Prosper Australia’s Karl Fitzgerald said low auction clearance rates meant the rental market should be easing, and the REIV survey was the “last desperate call to dupe young home buyers into purchasing at the top of the market”.

Some of the hard hitting statements you need to read in the report include:

“The suburb of Carlton alone has sufficient vacancies to house all 220 reported homeless students at Melbourne Uni” said Mr Curtis.

“Last week the Housing Industry Association tried to claim that land supply is the cause of rising housing prices. Yet the 90,000 blocks opened up by Brumby earlier this year, on top of the 38,000 existing empty blocks of land held by Australia’s 6 biggest developers, have done nothing to curb rising land prices. Obviously there is another factor at play and our report demonstrates that it is speculation.” stated Project Coordinator Karl Fitzgerald.

The I Want To Live Here report calls for genuine tax reform as the only means to ensure long term housing affordability and ensure future Boom Bust cycles are avoided. Higher and flatter holding taxes on land should be implemented to balance out the advantage that property speculation has over all other forms of business.