Housing affordability: thousands of large homes occupied by one person in Sydney and Melbourne

NSW and Victoria are sitting on a glut of 100,000 underused houses, with more than 2000 six-bedroom homes across Sydney and Melbourne occupied by just one person, a Fairfax Media analysis has revealed.

In NSW, Canterbury-Bankstown, Northern Beaches and Blacktown local government areas each have between 1400 to 2000 four-bedroom homes with just one person living in them, while in Victoria, there are more than 1000 in Monash, Whitehorse and Frankston, data from the census figures shows.

“Your analysis shows there are over 100,000 underused properties in NSW and Victoria where there is most stress on the housing system,” said Hal Pawson, the director of the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Research Centre at UNSW.

“At the same time up to 40 per cent of families are paying rent up to their eyes because the supply of property is artificially constrained by people sitting on underused homes.”

The figures, obtained for Fairfax Media by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, count the number of usual residents year-round, not just those home on census night, with a large proportion aged 65 and over.

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