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Housing affordability at crisis levels, Bowen claims


house coins seesawShadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is set to deliver a grim assessment of housing affordability in a speech today.

Bowen is set to address the McKell Institute today in Melbourne. Fairfax Media, which obtained a copy of Bowen’s speech, said Bowen is set to speak on the growing inability of young people to purchase a home.

"Overall home ownership in Australia is at a 60-year low. In 1982, 62% of people aged 25-34 owned their own home. By 2012, this had collapsed down to just 42%,” Bowen will say, according to Fairfax.

Bowen will argue that rising house prices are locking younger Australians out of the property market, Fairfax said.

"Over the last 25 years, young people have gone from having to pay just five times, to now having to pay up to 15 times their annual income to purchase a new home,” Bowen will say. ”The inability of young people, in particular, to buy a home to accommodate them has reached, I say calmly and soberly, crisis levels. We are a nation that can no longer house its own children."

Bowen is expected to use the speech to tout Labor’s proposal to limit negative gearing to newly-constructed properties and halve the capital gains tax concession. He will argue that action must be taken to protect middle class home ownership, and that it’s unacceptable for “governments to shrug their shoulders” over housing affordability.

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