The political battle to address housing affordability is not over

Coalition MPs feeling the political heat over housing affordability say the battle to bring down prices is not over, with one predicting a “war to come” unless the Turnbull government takes decisive action in the May budget.

In a rebuke of the budget’s expected focus on income tax cuts and infrastructure spending, Liberal MP John Alexander told Fairfax Media that Treasurer Scott Morrison should tighten restrictions on foreign home ownership, place further curbs on investors, and allow Australians to part-own houses and apartments under a government-backed scheme.

Mr Alexander said the high cost of housing “needed to be proactively addressed rather than waiting for a war to come”.

Housing affordability was nominated by voters in a Roy Morgan survey released on Tuesday as one of the top economic issues facing the country.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday showed the proportion of loans going to first-home buyers has dropped for the second time in three months, falling slightly to 17.9 per cent in February. This proportion is at a five-year high and is comfortably above the 12.9 per cent trough reached in March 2016.

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