Speculative Vacancies 8 report launch



Speculative Vacancies 8 – the Empty Properties Ignored by Statistics
Wednesday Dec 9th, 6.30pm
Presenter: Catherine Cashmore
Venue: Our new premises – Level One, 64 Harcourt St, North Melbourne
RSVP – limited seats

Read the report

Report author Catherine Cashmore has delivered an extensive investigation into the state of a housing market in turmoil. In what other market could the two pricing indicators – prices and rents – be working in opposite directions? She demonstrates how the role of speculation has split the market from reality, revealing the hidden supply of housing delivering billions in unearned income.

We cannot have a serious conversation about Australia’s housing supply ‘crisis’ without addressing the fundamental drivers that permit – no-less encourage – owners to lay a significant proportion of prime urban land to waste.

Our eighth report into vacant housing supply will again turn heads at the vast numbers of empty properties abounding in the face of the housing frenzy. The findings are right up there with our highest numbers.

The report investigates the vacant properties that act to enforce scarcity, pushing prices higher than need be. We use abnormally low water consumption as a proxy for vacancy.

We look forward to seeing you at the first public function in our new office space. This is a free event – donations appreciated.


  1. Adam08-12-2015


    I’d appreciate a booking for 2?



  2. Karl Fitzgerald
    Karl Fitzgerald08-12-2015

    ok Adam, done ;)

  3. John09-12-2015

    Are you aware that in many early Docklands apartment buildings all water is billed to the Owners Corporation and not individual apartments?

    Also in more recently built apartment buildings in Docklands only cold water usage is billed to individual apartments and water that is heated to become hot water in billed to the Owners Corporation.

    I live in a one bedroom apartment and my average daily (billed) water usage is only 25 litres because I do not pay for the hot water directly.

    Have you taken this fact into account when calculating the number of occupied apartments?

  4. Pim Wolfers15-12-2015

    Catherine said “Those properties need to be utilised,” but the ATO will apply capital gains tax liability to your home if you rent it out and renters trash your place. I am overseas 4 months a year with a zero water bill because I am retired and can’t stand the Melbourne winter. There are statistics and then there are xenophobic women, not too clever girlie.

  5. Karl Fitzgerald
    Karl Fitzgerald21-12-2015

    That’s a bit harsh Pim. This report is not tiered at foreign investors but the fact there are thousands of empty homes lying about after 20+ years of the housing affordability crisis. The risk of renters trashing your place is minuscule and will be more than offset by the rising value of your location. What is wrong with paying tax? We have no qualms about people being overseas for extended periods, only that we prefer they pay a Land Value Tax to ensure the state shares in the yearly windfall. Who could complain about that? Leaving your home empty does not qualify you for easy, unearned incomes. Invest money in the sharemarket where there is some risk and fair game to you.

    Even if you are away 4 months, the average water consumption is more than 3 times greater than our threshold of 50L per day, so unless you are one of 3% who are extraordinarily low water users, our measure still stacks up. Read Table 2.1 to see how similar concerns are addressed.

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