Updated March 26th, 2024 at 07:21 IST

Australia's top bank CEOs urge action on housing crisis

Ultra-low interest rates have driven home prices up, leading to a decline in younger homebuyers, potentially impacting retirement finances.

Reported by: Business Desk
Representative | Image:Unsplash
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Addressing housing crunch: The CEOs of Australia's largest banks are calling for urgent action to address the housing shortage plaguing the nation. The scarcity of housing is not only driving up prices but also excluding first-time homebuyers and essential migrants required to address skill shortages across various sectors.

In light of a 2023 government report warning of a long-term decline in home ownership amongst younger generations, the heads of Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, and Westpac stressed the critical need for more efficient planning approvals from local governments to alleviate the housing crunch.

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Housing affordability concern

Addressing the Banking Summit in Sydney, CBA CEO Matt Comyn highlighted the severity of the issue for younger Australians, pointing to the housing market's dismal affordability ranking globally based on debt-to-income ratios.

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Echoing Comyn's sentiments, Westpac CEO Peter King acknowledged the inevitable price hikes in a supply-constrained market but emphasised the societal repercussions of exorbitant home prices. Despite this, King expressed optimism about the housing market, stressing the urgent necessity for increased housing development.

Migrant skill shortage

NAB CEO Ross McEwan highlighted the importance of migrants in addressing skill shortages but stressed the need to streamline processes to facilitate construction and bring in essential tradespeople.

Overall, the banking leaders stressed the urgency of addressing the housing shortage to ensure broader societal and economic stability.

(With Reuters Inputs)

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Published March 26th, 2024 at 07:21 IST