Government intervention in the residential housing market is more of a concern than housing affordability itself, according to Real Estate Institute NSW Orana Division’s Bob Berry.
Mr Berry said Dubbo isn’t among areas enduring a housing affordability crisis which has dominated headlines in Australia over the last month. He said a majority of the claims were confined to areas of Sydney and Melbourne, as the regional NSW housing market continues to operate normally.
“There is no crisis in affordability in the major inland regional cities of NSW,” Mr Berry said.
He believes Dubbo’s median house price of around $350,000 and an average annual increase of around 4.5 per cent over the last decade makes for a stable market.
It is attractive to investors such as former local Meg McCloud and her husband Tim who say the million dollar price tag of a four-bedroom house in Sydney wasn’t alluring. They plan to buy in Dubbo in the coming years.
Mr Berry said the concern in housing circles throughout Australia is government intervention in a national market to address problems it perceives in the Sydney and Melbourne overheated market.
“Generally the housing market over the last 50 years has regulated itself by supply and demand,” he said.
“Reflecting back on Dubbo from 2012 to 2015 we in this city had a under-supply of housing for both rental purposes and sale purposes, however the building industry in Dubbo responded.”
He said national housing numbers quoted by the Housing Industry Association indicate new dwelling construction has been increasing in most major regional centres over three years.
“The reality is, if in any particular regional centre there is over-building, and the supply exceeds the demand, the market reacts to that and it balances out, it doesn’t need the federal government to be intervening in it,” Mr Berry said.
“The threat and the concern is that if the government intervention has unintended consequences that will flow through to jobs and economic growth in regional areas.”