Major property companies have suggested new models of home ownership – including “shared equity” and “collaborative consumption” – to address housing affordability.


Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert says one of the biggest impediments to delivering affordable housing is the lack of consistency among government agencies. “Even now the approach to affordability is a patchwork,” he says.


However, he noted changes to planning for activity nodes in Sydney had allowed smaller lot sizes of 125m2 to 150m2 on which a two-bedroom townhouse with a study could be built for $515,000.


Mirvac Group chief executive Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz says the company is looking at the concept of collaborative consumption, based on the idea that not everybody needs one of everything, producing “micro apartments.”


These much smaller units could have shared dining and sitting rooms, or other shared facilities such as storage and laundries, which would help to cut the price, she says.


Both Lloyd-Hurwitz and Steinert say efficiencies in planning, transport, tax and funding are the most important levers to make affordable housing.