House prices might be falling but our anxiety isn’t

The boom is long gone. But that doesn’t mean Australia’s anxiety about housing affordability has disappeared. Despite the steady tempo of headlines about falling prices, people are still troubled by the cost of housing.

During the five-year property price rally, which peaked last year, opinion polls began to show housing had become a key worry alongside more traditional bugbears such as healthcare, crime and the cost of living. Public unease about how the high cost of housing was affecting modern families became entrenched.

This trend has been most obvious in Victoria and NSW, the states disproportionately affected by rising property values. The quarterly Ipsos Issues Monitor, which asks respondents to select the three “most important issues” facing the community, revealed housing topped the list of concerns in NSW for the first time early last year.

The latest results, published last week, showed housing is still the No. 1 concern in NSW even though property prices in Sydney have been falling for a year. In Victoria anxiety about housing also peaked last year and remains the second top issue facing the community, although it is ranked the No. 1 worry among those aged under 35.

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Source: SMH