‘Boomers are being demonised’: Ben Fordham hits out at housing crisis report

Jun 07, 2021
Homes in Sydney are the most expensive they've ever been. Source: Getty

Baby Boomers are in the firing line once again, but this time 2GB radio host Ben Fordham has come to their defence, hitting out at a report that claims retirees are to blame for Sydney’s housing crisis.

The report in question was published in The Sydney Morning Herald at the weekend and headlined, ‘Boomers deepen housing crisis by staying in empty nests‘.

Terry Rawnsley, an urban and regional planner at KPMG, told the news outlet: “If older residents ‘occupy the crease’ it makes it harder to house new younger families in those locations close to jobs.”

It’s no secret homes in Sydney are the most expensive they’ve ever been (a home with no toilet or kitchen sold in Sydney over the weekend for $4.07 million, according to Domain), but Fordham argued Boomers are in no way to blame for the steep increases, saying the issue comes down to short supply in the market.

“Baby boomers and retirees are being demonised,” he said. “Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing this? The narrative that somehow you’re to blame for others not owning a home, like you’re hogging space, like you should just get out of the way.

“That’s the problem with this whole discussion. The idea that mums and dads should just pack up and move on once their kids have flown the coop. It’s your home. It’s your castle. And you’ve earned the right to decide when you move on.

“What do they want you to do exactly? Move out to the bush? Or disappear off the face of the earth? We need to stop shaming people who are living in their own homes.”

Fordham went on to say that Boomers shouldn’t be thrown under the bus like that considering the fact that many of them play a massive role in helping their kids get into the property market.

“The bank of mum and dad is now the fifth biggest bank in the country when it comes to home loans,” he said. “Mums and dads have gifted their children with more than $34 billion to help cover the first mortgage. The biggest problem with the housing market isn’t Baby Boomers occupying the properties, it’s short supply. New South Wales needs another 1.7 million homes over the next 40 years, so there’s your answer.

“Next time you read a headline saying ‘Boomers deepen housing crisis by staying in empty nests’ just think of Darryl Kerrigan and just like he did in The Castle tell ’em to go get stuffed.”

It comes after new research by Mortgage Choice found nearly 60 per cent of parents were considering gifting or lending their children money to help them buy a home, while 53 per cent said they would go guarantor on a home loan, and a further 45 per cent said they would consider using the equity in their own home to help their children enter the property market.

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