City News

Rising property prices stifle city’s creativity

WORK studio in St Peters. Source: Kimberley Low

By Mariana Podesta-Diverio

The increasingly unaffordable property market in Sydney is having repercussions for artists who are struggling to find studio spaces.

A quarterly report on house prices released by the Domain Group last week announced that the Australian property market is in a period of strong growth and Sydney is again leading with the highest housing prices.

The Domain Group’s House Price Report states that the median house price in Sydney increased by 4.1 per cent in the December 2014 quarter, while the median unit price rose by 2.9 per cent.

Sydney-based photographer Kimberley Low runs a photography hire studio that was founded to provide a cheaper alternative space for artists.

“[The studio] was founded to provide an affordable shooting space for up and coming and student photographers who can’t afford the $700+ a day average for most studios. ” Ms Low said.

Ms Low said she is currently in the middle of a dispute with a new landlord who wants to increase the studio’s rent by nearly 50%.

“[This] will make it impossible for us to continue providing the space at our current rates,” she said. “We may have to close down the business if we do not find an alternative space or come to an agreement with the landlord.”

NSW Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley said that housing affordability remains at an all-time low, with first home buyers only making up as little as 8 per cent of new home buyers in NSW.

“[This is] down from over a quarter of new home buyers before the Liberals’ vicious cuts to first home buyer grants” he said.

Dr Andrew Wilson, a Senior Economist at Domain Group said that Sydney remains the dominant force amongst the capital cities.

“Within an environment of stagnant national economic growth, house price cycles are set to generally flatten in most capital cities with the exception of Sydney,” Dr Wilson said.

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