28 Nov 2013

New population predictions released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate a dire need to increase new dwelling construction, according to a leading economist.

In a medium growth scenario, the ABS predicts the Australian population will double by 2075, while in a high growth scenario, the population is expected to double as early as 2058.

AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said policy makers should take note of the predictions and begin to address the shortage of housing now.

“A rough estimate is that over the last decade we have already underbuilt by around 10,000 homes; the new ABS data simply shows the problem is only going to get worse,” he said.

More available land and less red tape are needed to address the problem, according to Mr Oliver.

“We need to pick up the pace of building new dwellings. We need to release more land and we need to make the whole process easier for developers and for those wanting to build their homes themselves,” he said

Cameron Kusher, RP data research analyst, said more should be done to encourage Australians to live outside the capital cities.

Based on the population projections, by 2061, 65.8 per cent of the total national population will live in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Written by Michael Masterman.

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