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Why see wealthy professionals working from home see the bush bulldozed?

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Pristine bushland in picturesque beach areas may have to be bulldozed to build more homes, a new report predicts.

Coastal home prices rose at a faster pace than capital cities over the past year as wealthy inner-city professionals who can work from home turn around.

With house prices in some areas soaring by a third in just a year, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has blamed green tape for stopping regional councils from releasing more land for homes.

The report from the Regional Housing Task Force recommended a “solution of location constraints” as the housing affordability crisis hits rural towns.

“Most regional councils reported having enough latent zoned residential land to meet future housing needs for 20 years or more,” it said.

Coastal home prices have risen at a faster rate than in capital cities over the past year as wealthy inner-city professionals who can work from home experience a change (pictured is Coffs Harbor on NSW’s north shore)

“However, the task force understands that much of this land, especially old zoning plans or paper subdivisions approved decades ago, is severely constrained.

‘[This is] due to biodiversity and environmental factors, risk from natural hazards, lack or cost of infrastructure maintenance or market factors, and may no longer be suitable or feasible to develop in the current policy and market context.”

The report recommended expanding the NSW government’s urban development program to address barriers to land release to ‘establish a clearer housing supply pipeline’.

It has also called for an audit of other barriers to development “including environmental constraints and compensating costs for biodiversity.”

A lack of available housing in regional areas depressed rental vacancy and caused house prices to rise beyond the reach of the average income.

The public housing advocacy group Everybody’s Home accused wealthy inner-city professionals making changes to drive up real estate values ​​in regional areas.

“As a result of the pandemic, we have increasingly seen many with inner-city incomes benefit from flexible working conditions by moving to coastal and regional communities,” spokeswoman Kate Colvin said.

Public housing group Everybody's Home blamed wealthy inner-city professionals who changed the sea for driving up property values ​​in regional areas (Pict is Pitt Street Mall in Sydney)

Public housing group Everybody’s Home blamed wealthy inner-city professionals who changed the sea for driving up property values ​​in regional areas (Pict is Pitt Street Mall in Sydney)

“As a result, both house prices and rents have risen, leaving people with lower and middle incomes either out of the area, often further away from their jobs, or homeless.

“This is unfair, unsustainable and unlikely to change without an injection of social and affordable housing.”

Coffs Harbor on NSW’s mid-north coast had a 32.4 percent increase in median values ​​in the year to October, making $700,000 the median price for a backyard home, CoreLogic data showed.

The Central Coast, an hour’s drive north of Sydney, saw an even faster increase of 35.4 percent, pushing prices to $954,330.

Coffs Harbor on NSW's mid-north coast had a 32.4 percent increase in median values ​​in the year to October, making $700,000 the median price for a backyard home, CoreLogic data showed.

Coffs Harbor on NSW’s mid-north coast had a 32.4 percent increase in median values ​​in the year to October, making $700,000 the median price for a backyard home, CoreLogic data showed.

Both areas surpassed Sydney’s 30.4 percent increase, bringing typical home prices to $1,334 million.

Neither of these areas is affordable for the average, full-time worker making $90,329 per year.

The average price of houses and apartments in Australia now stands at $686,339, after an annual increase of 21.6 percent, the fastest annual increase since early 1989.

With a 20 percent down payment, a middle-income earner paying off a $550,000 loan would owe the bank six times his income.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority considers a debt-to-income ratio of six or more to be mortgage stress where a person cannot pay their bills.

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