According to The Australian Financial Review, the pandemic that has slashed immigration and cast a cloud over demand in the commercial new home market is prompting builders, including Simonds Group and developers, to look more closely at developing social and affordable housing.
ASX-listed Simonds had long had an interest in community housing but the onset of the pandemic had increased the attraction of the sector as it would likely boost demand for the type of housing the company specialised in, co-chief executive Kelvin Ryan said.
Melbourne-based Simonds' interest is not unique. A new survey of community housing providers by the federal government's National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation shows providers are increasingly being approached by developers and investors attracted by the sector's stable revenues.
Social housing, tenanted by low-income households and supported by Commonwealth Rental Assistance payments, along with affordable, or key-worker housing that typically sets rent at up to 80 per cent of the going market rate, provides stable revenue that is attractive to investors. There is also a desperate shortage of it.
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