Agent claims 200,000 vacant homes in Sydney

Just think about that. 200,000 homes sitting vacant in Sydney. That is one hell of a lot of homes.

Douglas Driscoll, the chief executive of Starr Partners, estimates the number of unoccupied homes has almost doubled from 120,000 in 2011, in a city which is already the second most unaffordable in the world after Hong Kong. ‘Foreign investors are only exacerbating the problem by buying properties and leaving them vacant,’ he claims.

Driscoll claims Chinese buyers are at the root of the problem due to their aversion to renting and also because they also buy to accommodate their children in the future when they attend Sydney’s universities.

There have been claims that there are 35000 homes vacant in Auckland under similar circumstances. This seems low by comparison. Auckland has roughly one quarter the population of Sydney, but Sydney also has a property gains tax on unoccupied homes. One would expect the Auckland number to be a bit higher than 35000.