Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How will our kids afford a home?

Posted by a very concerned parent:

The price of housing in both Melbourne and Sydney is totally out of hand and getting worse by the week. How will our children ever be able to afford even the most basic accommodation? Here's an article published in yesterday's Age:

Melbourne housing now 'severely unaffordable'
Chris Zappone   January 24, 2011
Australian homes among least affordable

Sky-high house prices in some of our biggest cities have made Australia one of the least affordable places to live in the world. Melbourne has scored near the bottom of an international ranking of housing affordability, stoking fears runaway house prices have made Australia a less equitable country.

Update The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which ranked 325 markets by affordability, listed Melbourne as the world's 321st most affordable city, more reasonably priced than only Sydney and a handful of other locations.

London is more affordable than Geelong.
The ratio of house prices to median yearly household income was 9 in Melbourne, versus 9.6 in Sydney - the second least affordable city in the world, in spot number 324, according to data produced by the US-New Zealand anti-regulation group Demographia in a survey of six English-speaking nations and Hong Kong.

The group put the median Melbourne house price at $565,000 with the median household income at $63,100. Hong Kong came in last at number 325, with an income-house price ratio of 11.4, while Saginaw, in Michigan ranked No. 1, with a multiple of 1.6. Demographia considers markets with a median multiple of 3 or less "affordable", while those with 5.1 or more are considered "severely unaffordable". Australia's major markets were all considered "severely unaffordable''.

US-based geographer and author Joel Kotkin said that even after the housing bubble implosion in the US and Britain beginning in 2008, the ratio of home prices to incomes has grown in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, London, Toronto and Vancouver. "Perhaps most remarkable has been the shift in Australia, once the exemplar of modestly priced, high-quality, middle-class housing, to now the most unaffordable housing market in the English-speaking world," he said. "The real issue is affordability and Australia has gone from a middle-class paradise in that regard into a more stratified society - just as we find in Britain and parts of the US." SNIPPED
 House prices plateaued in mid-2010, amid interest rate rises and a weaker pace of sales. The national city dwelling price fell 0.2 per cent in November, to $466,000, according to RP Data-Rismark information. Six in 10 Australians live in major cities. The third quarter 2010 rankings were compiled from national housing reports and estimates drawn from census data on incomes, with calculations made in local currency.

Swelling cities
Separately, a report from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship calculates that if 260,000 migrants come to Australia per year, both Sydney and Melbourne will need to expand by 430,000 hectares, or 4300 kilometers by 2060. “Expansion of urban areas raises issues such as likely increases in traffic congestion, city (air) pollution, and competition for land as a resource,” the report concluded. “The latter is an important issue since peripheral land of a number of capital cities has been relatively productive agriculture land, which can supply fresh food to the local area with lower freight requirements.”

The report on the physical impact of immigration was prepared by Flinders University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Sustainable Ecosystems Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

'Severely unaffordable'
The Demographia report showed Australian cities shared the mantle of “severely unaffordable” with American, Canadian, British and New Zealand cities. Demographia listed Melbourne as the world's 321st most affordable city, more reasonably priced than only Sydney, which came in at 325th, and a handful of other locations. The survey found that the ratio of house prices to median annual household income was 9.6 in Sydney. It put the median house price at $634,300 and median income $66,200.SNIPPED
Sydney-based real estate research and investment group Rismark believes Australian homes will become more affordable through 2011, as incomes remain strong and house prices flatten out. "As Australia's business investment and export boom drives strong household income growth at the same time as interest rates keep dwelling prices in check, we are likely to see a substantial improvement in residential real estate valuations," said Rismark joint managing director Christopher Joye. SNIPPED

If the situation is so dire for the general popluation, al achas kamoh vekamoh for obersernant Jews who are so severely limited to where they can live?

Whatever happened to the much ballyhooed plans for a “shtetel” in Melton and/or Caroline Springs - which the AJN reported on some time ago? And what about all those Adassniks who were considering a move to Frankston? (Actually we hear that a number [of non-Adassniks] have already moved there or are in the process of doing so.)

And what happened to that magnificent initiative of the late Mr Izzy Herzog ע''ה to construct affordable apartments on the corner of Hotham Street and Glen Eira Road? That large piece of land still looks like a moonscape with nary a hut on it. Mr Herzog’s idea of building 20-25 flats there - exclusively to local frum families - would make a sizeable dent in the demand – at least for a while.

AJN Watch considers rocketing home prices as one of the most serious issues facing our community, one that needs to be taken up immediately by the Shuls and organisations. We cannot continue to tolerate a situation where families with 5 - and even more - children are cramped into 2 bedroom flats. And even these do not come cheap. Weekly rental of over $400 is quite common. And if you want to buy one, have over $400,000 ready.

It’s over to you - the leaders of  Melbourne and Sydney Kehillos. For the sake of your and our children and grandchildren.


  1. another concerned parentTuesday, January 25, 2011 3:43:00 PM

    Thanks. A very relevant and essential post.

  2. Dear Concerned Parent - rather than lay the responsibility at the feet of the communal leaders, why don't you lead the way and either settle yourself of some of your children in Frankston. I understand that there were nearly 100 people there last Shabbos to celebrate a simcha. Housing is far more affordable, and you have a direct train connection to Caulfield station and the city.

  3. Prices are soaring. I know it is a scary concept for some - but Frankston is great!

    Houses are affordable - you can get a 3 bdrm for the mid to high $300.000.

    Right now there is a Chabad House and school bus and there are plans underway for a Childcare Centre..... soon to come will be a mikvah!

    For those non - melbournians, an hour from the ghetto is normal.

    Go on, give yourself a better quality of life and check us out!

    If you would like to see Frankston or come for a Shabbos, please call Rabbi Levi Bondar on 0413 531 872 or email bondar770@gmail.com

    Can't wait to hear from you!
    Rivka Bondar

  4. What about safety concerns at Frankston station? There were some bad stories in the media last year.

  5. Rivka, thanks for your comment.

    You are invited to post a comprehensive report about life - both Jewish and general with present and future plans for Frankston.

  6. Indeed, Rivka. The new Frankston community seems to be one of Melbourne's best-kept secrets. I can't recall a single article about it in the Jewish News. Presumably now that this blog has mentioned it they will do something about it.

    Meanwhile, please let us know about the positives and negatives of living "in the bush".

  7. B'H
    Well it is about some people have shown sense and moved beyond the ghetto walls of Caulfield and East St Kilda. There were plans to settle in Altona North and I have only a two word comment for that and it is 'No Way!'
    It would be good to see Frankston be a stepping stone for other Jewish communities moving beyond to say the Gippsland if we have to live in Australia.
    Yiddishkeit is more than where a person lives. It is an inner sense of who you are and how you live. We need to live in communities that are strong and vital. That means not getting stressed over massive mortgages and if there is the opportunity to live in an affordable growing community and to build a thriving Jewish community outside the boundaries of Melbourne; HEY, let's do it!
    I would love to see a community in the REAL BUSH not just the city version of the bush. Shepparton, Mildura or Minyan (yes there is a town in Victoria called Minyan) anyone?????

  8. Ilana - you say that you would like to see a community in "the real bush".
    Does that mean you would like to see others living there, or that you would be one of the pioneers ?

  9. Miriam,

    The Jewish News covered the story in November 2009:


    My fond regards to the Bondars.


  10. B'H Oh Anonymous (AKA the vitrolic [CENSORED] who doesn't want to embarrass himself by communicating with me because I might turn out to be a REAL human being) I would LOVE to be a pioneer to create a community in the bush, but it would have to be with at least fifteen families and it would have to be a realistic push to towards creating a viable community. Minyan sounds really cute. I think a Jewish community of people in the Gippsland would be wonderful. You see I grew up in the country on a sheep and cattle station. Kibbutz Minyan sounds wonderful and think of the fun in building a viable community and making it work. Building a shule from scratch of Mud brick and having a butcher shop, Mikveh and school, plus growing the goats, sheep and cattle to provide the butcher shop with kosher meat. Sounds wonderful and I can live in the bush but a lot of city bred people find it hard to be away from Chaddy and the Ghetto. I can hardly have a community of a single parent and one child. Cheers :-)

  11. I think there have been a few attempts to create Jewish agricultural communities in Vic - but they didn't seem to succceed - excpet maybe Shepparton and the Feiglins

  12. Everything is getting expensive. Better prepare our selves.

  13. Frankston is full of Jews during the summer months. You can purchase kosher meat, cheese & more locally. + there is a Chabad House with a Shabbos Minyan. All they need is for Glicks' to open up in Bayside Shopping Centre : )


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