Homelessness expected to rise following federal election as property investors remain cautious

Homelessness expected to rise as rental availability worsens
Homelessness expected to rise as rental availability worsens

Homelessness is predicted to worsen following the Australian Federal Election in May as cautious investors hold off on development applications.

Inspire Realty founder and property advisor Colin Lee says some investors and developers are holding off on developments until after the election is completed.

"Every developer I have spoken with nationally in the last three weeks has been waiting and seeing what the new government will put into place on negative gearing," Mr Lee said.

He says this cautiousness would lead to increased rental and sale prices as demand will continue to outstrip supply following the election.

"Properties will not go down. People need a place to live and property is in high demand from renters and buyers."

Agents have reported that landlords in competitive markets are being inundated with a record number of rental applications amid a shortage of available rental properties.

Real estate agent at Cathy Snip Family Realty Beaudesert, Cathy Snip, says rental availability in the area is uncertain.

"A tremendous amount of houses have been built, it's whether they're going to the rental market," Ms Snip said.

Domain's latest Rental Vacancy Report found that the national rental vacancy rate fell to one per cent in March, coinciding with the Greater Brisbane area's longest ever period of house rental price growth where rents have reached record highs.

The reopening of international and domestic borders has also added pressure to the rental market.

"There's been a lot of interest from interstate for accommodation in Beaudesert," Ms Snip said.

"My biggest problem is having plenty of buyers but limited sales."

Mr Lee says, "homes are not being built fast enough to accommodate demand and we have a ferocious appetite from overseas."

The issue of homelessness is expected to escalate, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting in 2016, more than 116,000 people were homeless throughout the country.

That figure has since risen to 290,000, according to Melbourne-based organisation Launch Housing, who, in partnership with UNSW and UQ, also report that typical housing costs as a percentage of household income have risen from 23 per cent to 29 per cent in the last decade.