Affordable housing to drive future gains

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Shortages in affordable properties and regions are likely to drive capital gains over the deacde ahead, according to the federal government's housing czar.

Owen Donald, the recently-reappointed chair of the National Housing Supply Council, believes there are still significant potential for investors in the decade ahead – despite a largely flat outlook for property prices.

"We've got shortages of housing in some areas for some demographics and we've got oversupply of housing, probably only short term, in other markets," Donald told AAP. "I expect [flatness in prices] to be a feature of this decade rather than the spectacular rises that we saw in the last one. Nonetheless, there are some significant shortages and there is significant potential for investors in this market."

Donald highlighted "the lower end, the bottom half of the income distribution,  singles, families with kids in that lower bracket" as one of the major demographics suffering from shortages; key workers in the major capital cities and  substantial demand associated with growing jobs in some regional areas are also resulting in very specific housing shortages.

"It's a quite different kind of potential than last time when people were driven by capital gains, but there is some potential for people who are interested," he said.

Donald added that the national shortfall of properties is still in full swing there, estimating that there is still a shortage of more than 200,000 apartments and houses nationwide.

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