ABC interview Catherine on Australia's Empty Homes


The report, written by real estate analyst Catherine Cashmore, estimates that almost a third of the area's units may be empty at any time given that the short-term vacancy rate of properties available for rent is 4.6 per cent.


"Ms Cashmore noted that well over half of the area's residents are renters, indicating the dominance of investor ownership in that region, which she warned has echoes of recently collapsed housing markets.

"In Ireland, property related tax incentives fuelled a flood of demand from the buy-to-let sector, primarily in the form of high-density apartment construction as well as new housing in estates far from employment centres," she observed.

"The over supply of poor quality vacant dwellings was not broadly evident until the crisis hit. Subsequently, in the two years leading up to the market peak of 2007, almost half of all new Irish home purchases stemmed from speculative investor activity rather than genuine homebuyer demand."

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