Tasmanian housing update highlights need for more social housing

The University of Tasmania’s Housing and Community Research Unit (HACRU) has prepared a Tasmanian housing update to inform the community and policy makers about the ongoing shortage of affordable housing in the State.

Read the full report (PDF 830KB).

There continues to be an acute shortage of affordable housing across Tasmania, particularly in Greater Hobart. This Housing Update is the latest in a series of reports prepared by the University of Tasmania since 2017 to  inform public debate and offer evidence-based policy insights. While several important policies and initiatives have been implemented since the onset of the housing crisis, evidence suggests these measures have not been enough to ease housing market pressures.

Collectively, more needs to be done to ensure most Tasmanians have access to secure, suitable and affordable housing.

Key points in this update include:

• The median rent for a home in Hobart has risen 27% over the past three years, with tenants in the private rental market on average spending more than a third of
household income on housing (the highest percentage of any capital city).

• While population growth is centred around Hobart, new home building is dispersed across Tasmania – including in areas experiencing population decline.

• The time lag between new housing approvals and building continues to grow, indicating a possible lack of skilled labour, access to finance and project management expertise.


1. Tasmania’s housing market remains challenging and the acute shortage of affordable rental properties in greater Hobart continues.

2. There has been a significant increase in residential construction and the supply of new homes, but new supply has not been enough to overcome the pressures produced by population growth and the short-stay accommodation sector.

3. The short-stay accommodation sector continues to grow, though at a slower rate. There is no evidence to date that the new permit and compliance regime introduced by the Tasmanian Government is reducing the impact of the sector on the residential housing market. Further regulations, such as those recommended by the Legislative Council inquiry into short-stay accommodation, should therefore be considered.

4. There is a growing gap between housing costs and incomes across Australia and the consequences are felt most acutely by households with low incomes. The most recent research shows increased investment in social housing is the most cost effective solution to improving long-term housing outcomes for these households.

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