Nurses, cops and childcare workers – rents forcing front line workers to move away

Frontline workers are being pushed out of the housing market in Queensland as prices and rents hit levels that are beyond their reach, a report reveals.

Jun 24, 2024, updated Jun 24, 2024
Houses are seen in the inner-city suburb of Paddington in Brisbane, (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Houses are seen in the inner-city suburb of Paddington in Brisbane, (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Most nurses, police officers, childcare workers and teachers can’t afford to buy or rent a home on their own in southeast Queensland, based on their income and the median price of houses and apartments.

“Most of southeast Queensland is a ‘no go zone’ for frontline workers hoping to get their foot on the property ladder,” Property Council of Australia Queensland director Jess Caire said.

The council on Monday released a report, Beyond Reach, which shows that if you are a single-income critical worker on an average salary of $85,000 buying a house is “beyond hope” and buying a unit is “beyond reach”.

For a dual-income family, with a gross income of $150,000, buying an existing home is ranked “beyond reach” and purchasing house and land packages is deemed “unaffordable”.

Brisbane is now the second-most expensive city in Australia to buy a home, according to data released by CoreLogic earlier this month.

The median house value in the Queensland capital is $937,479, and $615,429 for a unit.

The overall value of Brisbane dwellings has risen sharply against Melbourne in the past four years, at 59.8 per cent compared to 11.2 per cent, respectively.

Ms Caire said a council report released in 2007 foreshadowed the grim outlook for housing costs currently impacting much of Australia.

It predicted Queensland would face “a housing crisis of dire proportions” without policy solutions that addressed development assessments, land supply and infrastructure for population growth areas.

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But that warning fell on “deaf ears”, Ms Caire said.

“Housing is more expensive than it needs to be, red tape is making it more difficult to deliver, and the slow pace of infrastructure delivery has made it harder to unlock new sites,” she said.

As Queensland heads to a state election later this year, housing, health and the cost of living are key issues for voters.

“It’s time for political bravery and real industry consultation,” Ms Caire said.

“We need decisive action to change the policies and tax settings that punish growth and punish home buyers.”

The state Labor government has introduced measures to help more first homebuyers into the market by increasing stamp duty thresholds to $700,000 and phasing out the concession on properties up to $800,000.

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