Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Rental rage surges in Sydney

Sydney's housing vacancy rate remains unchanged at 1.2 per cent

One in three real estate agents have been threatened or abused by people frustrated at Sydney's rental shortage, a survey has found.

The survey by the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales has found 32 per cent of agents have been threatened or abused within the last month.

The institute's president, Steve Martin, says the police have been called into real estate offices in some instances.

"We've had threats to property managers that in the event of their application not being approved, physical violence would take place," he said.

"We've had the other extreme where people have threatened suicide if their application isn't approved, which is very, very concerning.

"It's pent up frustration from tenants where they have been continually applying for premises and unfortunately, their applications just haven't been approved.

"Now, that's not necessarily their fault. The properties simply aren't available."

Sydney's housing vacancy rate for August remained unchanged from July at 1.2 per cent.

Premier Nathan Rees will meet the Real Estate Institute for crisis talks today.

Welfare groups call for $7.5b housing plan

Welfare groups will today ask the Federal Government to build an extra 30,000 public housing dwellings over the next four years.

The organisations say their plan would cost $7.5 billion.

Gregor McPhee from the Australian Council for Social Service, says the boost is needed to cope with rising demand.

"We know that COAG is meeting early next month to talk about a new national affordable housing agreement and the Commonwealth and the States will be working together on that," he said.

"We see it as an historic opportunity to invest in public housing and as part of that an investment in public and community housing."

Australian bankruptcies up 3pc

New statistics show the number of Australians declaring bankruptcy rose by 3 per cent last financial year.

The Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia says there were almost 26,000 bankruptcies in the 2007/2008 financial year.

The agency's acting inspector-general, David Bergman, says he expects the figure will continue to rise.

"Generally in the country is that we've continued to like debt and obviously there are some pressures out there on people at the moment, we're certainly not expecting to see any decline," he said.

"We probably would expect over the next few years we'll see a similar rate of bankruptcies to what we've had in the last couple of years."


Qld has highest homeless rate in Australia

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show Queensland has the highest homeless population in Australia.

More homeless seeking help: report
A new report shows there has been a substantial increase in the number of homeless Australians seeking government help.

Housing rents surge in Sydney
RENTS for houses across Sydney surged 8 per cent in the three months to June, driven by landlords facing higher mortgage rates.

First mortgages doubled in a decade: ABS

The amount first home buyers borrowed to make their housing purchase doubled in the 10 years to 2005-06, new statistics show.

Housing crisis forcing people to sleep rough
A Wesley Mission study found 71 per cent of respondents identified the housing crisis as the major reason for them becoming homeless. Of those, 88 per cent said accumulated debt and unexpected financial crisis were factors.

Funding fall 'locks workers out of housing'

People who cannot afford to rent or buy suitable homes have been locked out of public housing because of a drastic fall in national funding, a Sydney conference has heard.

Renters must pay for their own evictions
SYDNEY renters have plenty to gripe about. Not only are their rents soaring but they are also funding the legal machinery used by landlords to evict them.

NSW feels the deepest jobs cut

MORE than 17,000 NSW workers left or lost their jobs last month in the worst labour market reading in years, fuelling fears the state will suffer the brunt of the coming economic slowdown.

Welfare services under strain: survey

The number of people accessing community services is on the rise, a new survey shows.

Report warns new wave of homelessness
State and federal governments are being warned of a new wave of homelessness threatening disadvantaged families.

When pain persists, they arrive
People are still angry when they lose their houses, but he notices that "people nowadays seem to think, when they take a loan, that it's a risk and that if they take the loan they might end up losing their house".

'No warning' about Beechwood collapse
The New South Wales Government says it had no warning one of the state's largest building companies was about to collapse, despite receiving more than 100 complaints over three years.

Housing crisis is real: industry
The Housing Industry Association (HIA) says new research highlights the seriousness of Australia's housing crisis.

Fee too much for Block project
THE Aboriginal Housing Company has accused the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, of "trying to crucify" an ambitious housing plan for the Block in Redfern after his department refused to waive a $60,000 development application processing fee for the project.

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