PHOTO: The Australian Dream. TWITTER. 9NEWS

Home ownership is not on 34-year-old town planner Eric Smith’s to-do list as soaring property prices push the prospect of buying a house out of many young Australians’ reach.

“Instead of chasing that dream and tying myself to saving $80,000 over the next 10 years so I could put a deposit on a house, I thought I would just commit to renting forever,” he said.

His Tasmanian home city of Launceston has some of the highest property prices in regional Australia.

The latest CoreLogic Regional Market Update revealed unit prices grew 30.9 per cent in the 12 months to April, faster than any of the 25 largest non-capital regions in the country.

Units were also selling faster than anywhere else, with a median time of 11 days on the market while house prices were up 29.5 per cent.

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Mr Smith said he would prefer to invest his savings into stocks rather than becoming another disciple of Australia’s property obsession.

“It is disappointing that property does have such a preferred tax status,” he said.

“One of the ways to solve the housing crisis is to not treat housing as an investment but as a human right.”

A ‘lose-lose’ situation

A mother and her middle aged son stand proudly in their clean, white kitchen.
Cynthia Mansfield and her son Stuart are at the mercy of a volatile rental market.(ABC News: Lachlan Bennett)

Launceston resident Stuart Mansfield said being a lifelong renter was a battle.

He said saving for a deposit was tough as he survived on a small carer’s pension while looking after his 12-year-old son.

And while he accepted he might never buy, he said renting wasn’t an easier option.

“It’s just a lose-lose situation for me to even attempt to get a private rental.”

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Mr Mansfield said he was facing the prospect of living in his car after the owner of his property doubled the rent as a housing affordability scheme ended.

He said he was exploring public housing but the waiting list was 72 weeks long.


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This aerial shot shows the sun rising over Launceston General Hospital.
Unit prices in Launceston and north-east Tasmania are growing faster than in any of Australia’s 25 largest non-capital regions.(ABC News: Luke Bowden)

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