Published on Feb 13, 2018

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Housing Affordability Report points to Cessnock


The report looked at affordability for workers in key professions including teachers, ambulance drivers, paramedics, nurses, firefighters and police.


The housing crisis in Sydney, driven by high house prices and a tight rental market, continues to push home buyers further out into surrounding regional areas.


The consequence is that Sydney has had 20% of its key workforce move away from Sydney in the last decade, while regional areas have seen a rise in numbers. The Hunter Valley experienced a 13.6% rise in numbers of workers in the key professions such as teaching and nursing, moving into the region.


A rise in vehicles driven to work is another consequence of the Sydney property market, and key workers living in regional areas often unable to catch public transport due to shift work and lack of services.


Most capitals across Australia are experiencing a downturn in property values, with Hobart the only capital still seeing a rise in value.


Regionally, the story is somewhat different. A lack of affordability in capital cities means that outlying areas are still experiencing a slight rise in property values.


Teachers Mutual Bank CEO Steve James said that despite a cooling market in most Australian capitals, home loans in Sydney suburbs are still out of reach for key workers.


“For a key worker, finding somewhere affordable to live in reasonable proximity to their work is becoming impossible for those not already in the property market,” said Mr James.


“The report has found that the closest local government area with an affordable median rental price for an entry level enrolled nurse is Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. That’s about 150km from any hospital in Sydney city, making it a 300km round trip per day,” said Mr James.