Housing crisis

Australia’s housing crisis worsens as overseas students return

A new report from Australian property company Domain shows vacancy rates across all areas are at their lowest since their record highs began in 2017, with Melbourne posting one of the steepest year-on-year declines , dropping from 4.3% in March 2021 to 1.8% this March.

“Experts say the situation will get worse as international students and work visa holders return to our cities,” said News First Sydney reporter Samara Gardner.

Sydney’s vacancy rate has fallen to 1.4%, meaning it is the lowest since November 2017, from 2.9% in March 2021.

“Experts say situation will get worse as international students and work visa holders return”

“Real estate demand in the CBD [Sydney’s central business district] is only set to grow, which means rents will likely continue to rise and competition will get even fiercer – we’re likely to see bidding wars occur between these tenants in order to secure a lease,” Gardner continued. .

The news comes as Australia continues to push for more collaboration between itself and India, targeting top STEM talent in particular – but the question remains whether they will have somewhere to live once they arrive.

International students have unfortunately always been more vulnerable to problems finding accommodation, especially when prices rise and competition becomes fierce – and their desperation to find accommodation makes them susceptible to exploitation.

Alan Morris from the University of Technology Sydney has been conducting research during the pandemic into the risks faced by international students trying to rent in Australia.

“A lot [international students] come from low-income homes, and once they land in Australia, education providers don’t have to provide housing,” Morris explained in an interview with the New York Tenants’ Union. -South Wales.

Speaking to a father and daughter about the report, they said they had been “trying to find accommodation for about a month”, and still had no luck.

“Many come from low-income homes…education providers don’t have to provide housing”

“I hope we find something,” the girl said. It is unconfirmed if she was an international student.

“Our study found that 25% of students end up sharing a room with people they don’t know, and many of them are in precarious situations – there’s no indication that the problem will be fixed any time soon” , Morris continued.

“I remember a student living opposite a university – she was renting a two-bedroom apartment where the living room had been turned into another bedroom…she wasn’t even sure how many people were in the room. apartment, ‘It’s either 13 or 14,’ she said.”

This is consistent with the PIE report in October that international students in Victoria were living in “precarious housing”, often “unsafe” and in “poor condition”.