Thousands Of Homes Left Vacant In The Inner West

New figures from the 2016 census reveals that nearly one in 10 homes in the Inner West are currently vacant, prompting calls for a crackdown on investors who leave their properties unoccupied.

A record 10,525 homes were left vacant in the Inner West, Canada Bay, Burwood, and Strathfield council areas on census night, an increase of 1,525 homes from 2011. An analysis conducted by The Courier shows these vacant properties could accommodate the 5,100 people in the region’s social housing waiting list – twice over in fact, as average wait times now top 10 years.

According to experts, a number of factors are exacerbating this phenomenon, including laws that encourage investors to keep their properties empty, developers who’re waiting for rezoning approvals, and homes in transition between sales.

Laurence Troy, research fellow at the UNSW City Futures Research Centre, noted that “the driver in property investment [is] no longer rental income but capital gains”.

“Investors might keep a house untenanted because it’s easier to resell in future if they don’t need to wait for the end of a lease,” Troy said.

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