Premier Daniel Andrews with care workers who have bought with Villawood under the care scheme nurse Lindu Santhosh, aged care worker Victoria Spirovski, and Mardi Falconer of the NDIA, and Villawood Properties executive director Rory Costelloe.

A plea for battling carers

June 20, 2019 BY

Carers of our most vulnerable – the acute and chronically ill, elderly, young and disabled – are battling to buy a home, with some earning as little as $20,000 below the average annual income.

With mounting research highlighting the growing financial pressure faced by care workers, and possibly detracting people from entering these vocations, Villawood Properties is calling on Victorian businesses to consider offering financial concessions to care workers as a means to ensure the future liveability of the state.

Villawood presently offers $20,000 price cuts, and sets aside 20 per cent of land in its new releases, for care workers.

Since the Care Worker Support Program’s launch at Armstrong Mount Duneed last year, Villawood has helped more than 50 care workers toward their own home, dispersing more than $300,000 in rebates.

PWC research suggests 79 per cent of care workers don’t believe they will ever own their own home. Care worker shortages were identified as long ago as 2013, with fears of a 100,000-strong nurses shortfall by 2025.

The role of care workers is crucial and supporting them into their own homes is critical for a sustainable community.

This is an issue that has an impact much further afield. So we’re calling on other businesses across the state to consider what they can do in their own community to help nurses, firefighters, police, teachers, aged care workers and all other care workers.

Across the nation, suburbs on the fringe are developing much faster than the inner cities. These areas are the nation’s largest growing employment areas, so it stands that we would want to attract highly-qualified care workers as part of this mix.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reaffirmed his endorsement of Villawood’s Care Worker Support Program.

“Nurses, teachers and carers are crucial in making Victoria such a great place to live,” Mr Andrews said last week.

“That’s why it’s so important they have the chance to live near their work, particularly as our outer suburbs grow. Through its care worker support program, Villawood is supporting those who work so hard for us all.”

MEANWHILE, Geelong’s land sales continue to outstrip Melbourne in terms of price, lifestyle and relative market share – and that’s before the recent postelection market picking up again.

Oliver Hume research commissioned by Villawood Properties shows Greater Geelong land sales totalled an average 89 a month for the first quarter of this year.

Metropolitan Melbourne totalled 501.

This was equivalent to 18 per cent of the metropolitan market, and the third biggest selling area compared to all the growth corridors of Melbourne.

The OIiver Hume research found Geelong prices also maintained a stark affordability advantage – on average $50,000 – against Melbourne’s key growth areas.

With a pronounced jump in local inquiries also noted in recent weeks by Oliver Hume sales staff at Villawood’s Geelong communities, the region’s prospects stand to be even further enhanced by a raft of positive new influences on the market, including:
• Canberra’s first home-buyer deposit guarantee;
• Reserve Bank cuts to interest rates which will make loans more affordable;
• Reducing the Australian Prudential

Regulation Authority loan buffer from 7 per cent.

The federal government’s new measures could be worth as much as $100,000 to new borrowers for a typical $600,000 house and land package.

We’ve been facing quite a severe drop in confidence and many people were facing difficulties obtaining finance for purchases already committed to, due to the knee-jerk reaction of banks following the Royal Commission.

The latest easing of lending policy will ensure that far more families will be able to settle contracts already committed to. It has certainly added to the confidence of buyers coming back into the market.