Chronically Unaffordable Housing
06 September, 2023

For more information on this policy please contact

Committee for Sydney

Report / 6 September 2023

Chronically Unaffordable Housing

This new research shows Sydney’s now chronic housing crisis is costing the economy more than $10 billion per year.

Benchmarked internationally, Sydney meets the key metrics for chronic unaffordability: 

  • Median property price over eight times the median household income for more than five consecutive years: Sydney’s median property price is over 13.3 times the price of median income, up from 8.3 a decade ago
  • More than 33% of renter households in housing stress (paying over 30% of monthly income on housing costs): 35.3% of Sydney renter households experience rental stress
  • In the world’s 20 most unaffordable cities for housing across available measures: Sydney is ranked second least affordable major housing market after Hong Kong.

Housing unaffordability is a threat to the future potential of Sydney and it’s deeply impacting every single one of us, but we’ve got to be clear that what we’re experiencing isn’t just a short-term housing crisis, it’s now chronic and it’s costing Sydney’s talent, innovation and productivity more than $10bn per year. 

We can’t solve it overnight, but we can commit to the bold, brave and long-term program required to send Sydney’s chronic housing crisis into remission and stop future relapses: 

  1. Bring Sydney in line with other global cities by introducing an inclusionary zoning target (to provide affordable housing in new developments) on all rezonings, with appropriate transitional provisions  
  2. Invest in much more social and affordable housing
  3. Significantly increase housing supply and do it well – with good transport connectivity, affordable housing, open space, schools, child care, shops and services.