THE local saying is that if you work in Noosa you can’t afford to live in Noosa, and this is largely true.
Noosa is a classic case of limited land availability in a highly desirable location, and many cashed-up retirees and holidaymakers compete to be here, so real estate prices go up.
This was ramped up 10 years ago when Noosa tried to limit the population by limiting development, and this just instantly pushed prices sky high.
Since about 80% of Australians now live along the coast, this is a common story.
Land availability is also exacerbated by urbanisation.
When cities sprawl out endlessly, governments have to follow and provide services out in the boondocks … sewerage infrastructure, water, power, garbage collection, parks, buses, schools, hospitals etc.
All cost a lot more when they are spread out and used less intensively, so many areas have a policy of urban densification.
To encourage this, they limit land availability through planning, or make sprawling new land developments pay dearly for their future servicing.
Melbourne started this trend 20 years ago, and the premium on using city space enlivened the laneways.
Local examples of this are the dozens of cranes dotting the Brisbane skyline, or the proposal to insert a new city centre in Maroochydore that includes lots of accommodation.
When we look at the ratio of housing costs over the last 25 years in Australia, 95% of the increase in house and land packages has been attributed to the land price.
Because not a lot of houses have been built over the last five years, due largely to the GFC, Australia is short some 300,000 residences, and these policies influence the type of accommodation that we can feasibly provide for the future.