Housing affordability is a key issue cities face as they grow, and home ownership has become increasingly challenging for many first home buyers in Australia, particularly those looking to buy in Sydney and Melbourne.
As the nation’s largest residential developer, we recognised an opportunity to engage with key stakeholders to lead innovative solutions in response to this challenge. A suite of measures is required to unlock housing supply and address affordability, and we have committed to partnering with government and industry to drive sustainable solutions. We are engaging with customers, industry, government and the broader public via media outreach to encourage a coordinated, effective response to this critical issue.
Creating housing options for first home buyers is a focus for us when considering solutions for housing affordability concerns. In the past 12 months we have sold more than 6,600 lots across Australia, half of which have been to first home buyers.
A key example of furthering our response to this challenge and working together with key stakeholders was the launch in April of our ‘100 homes in 100 days’ initiative in NSW. The initiative gave 100 first home buyers priority to purchase land and build a new family home at our Sydney masterplanned communities from $650,000, with a particular emphasis on the 100 days until the end of financial year.
NSW Minister for Planning and Minister for Housing, Anthony Roberts MP, together with first home owner, Jose Duarte, partnered with us to launch the initiative at Willowdale (NSW).
Over the course of the 100 days, we exceeded our commitment and sold 168 lots to first home buyers across our three masterplanned communities at Willowdale, Elara (NSW) and Altrove (NSW).
We have extended our engagement with stakeholders on housing affordability nationally, making similar commitments to first home buyers in Queensland (’50 homes in 50 days’) and Victoria (‘200 homes in 100 days’), in addition to affordability measures for retirees in South Australia, who are able to access 21 homes in our villages for under $210,000, and a boost for first home buyers in Western Australia, with our $5,000 commitment to offset government changes to the rebate for first home buyers. The infographic summarises these initiatives.
In addition, our townhouse developments are offering customers affordable and low maintenance homes. Townhouses will play an increasingly important role in housing affordability and the gentrification and densification of Australia’s major cities.