Sydney’s emptiest suburbs

Adam Smith 31 March 2016

Sydney's emptiest suburbs

Which in-demand Sydney suburbs are seeing properties intentionally left empty? Find out here.

Negative gearing is creating “perverse outcomes” that see housing left empty and affordability eroded in Sydney’s most sought-after suburbs, a new report has claimed.

According to Fairfax outlets, a new report from the UNSW City Futures Research Centre has claimed up to 90,000 properties are sitting empty in some of Sydney’s most desirable suburbs.

"Leaving housing empty is both profitable and subsidised by government. This is taxation lunacy and a national scandal," researchers Bill Randolph and Laurence Troy told Fairfax.

The Centre’s analysis found that suburbs with lower rental yields and higher expected capital gains were more likely to see properties left vacant. Troy and Randolph claimed the impact of this trend was to create scarcity in suburbs where housing is most in demand.

"If you choose to accept that there is a housing shortage in Sydney, then the sheer scale and location of these figures strongly suggest that this is an artificially produced scarcity," Troy and Randolph told Fairfax.

The two blamed negative gearing for creating conditions favourable to leaving housing unoccupied. And while the Centre’s report was based on 2011 Census figures, Troy and Randolph claimed the trend of vacancies is likely to have grown in the past five years, as more housing is being delivered precisely in the locations where there appears to be a concentration of homes standing empty".
A proposal being developed by the NSW Federation of Housing Associations could curb the trend, though, Fairfax suggested. The proposal would see long-term vacant housing hit with higher council rates.

“If you're not using the home as a place for people to live ... in this crisis I think it's reasonable that there's an extra charge on that property," the federation's CEO Wendy Hayhurst told Fairfax.

Source: Census 2011
Image: Shutterstock

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