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First-home buyers fuel Australia's housing affordability crisis: expert

Editor: Li Xiang 丨Xinhua

05-07-2017 14:05 BJT

CANBERRA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Australian first-home buyers are contributing to the nation's housing affordability crisis by having "unrealistic" expectations of house sizes and amenities, according one of the nation's leading housing developers on Sunday.

Australia is currently in the midst of a housing boom, with property prices far outgrowing the average wage increase, but Craig Treasure from Villa World, a house-and-land developer, has said first-home buyers were contributing to the issue.

He told News Corp that many young Australians were seeking high levels of amenities for base prices. Instead of keeping expectations lower, such as two or three bedrooms with one bathroom, Australians were seeking houses with four bedroom, two bathrooms and a double garage.

Treasure said it was little wonder the average house prices in major cities Melbourne and Sydney were creeping up to 1 million Australian dollars (740,000 U.S. dollars).

"We talked about doing very small homes that can be extend­ed over time. The feedback we get is the market isn't supportive of that concept. To me, that expectation is a big thing," he said.

Treasure said the 'large house' expectation had grown out of the rise of the "flip" mentality, whereby buyers purchase a house to hold it for a small amount of time before selling it for a profit, a by-product of a booming housing market.

"It's not their intention to keep those dwellings for the long term; their intention is to keep that for three to five years," Treasure said.

Meanwhile Shane Garrett, economist for the Housing Industry Association, said houses were growing in size and therefore price, with the average size of a modern house reaching 258.4 square meters.

"People are definitely showing a preference for a larger house, even if land size is shrinking. They value having a larger-space home," Garrett told News Corp.

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