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New report finds Australia’s pollies own a truly absurd amount of property

With talk of a housing affordability crisis heating up, recent analysis undertaken by ABC News suggests that our politicians are doing just fine, thanks.

Oh the sweet, sweet irony.

According to the ABC, the very politicians downplaying the issue of rocketing house prices are among the nation’s most aggressive property investors.

The ABC conducted an analysis of 226 individuals, finding that they own 524 properties. The average property-owning parliamentarian as 2.4 titles to their name.

A staggering 96 percent of the politicians own property. Meanwhile, ownership across the nation has dipped to its lowest point since World War II. It is expected to go below 50 percent sometime this year.

The analysis also found that almost half of the pollies own investment properties. Comparatively, the general population’s rate of investment property ownership is about 10 percent.

The Coalition has the largest portfolio with a total of 295 properties owned by its members – an average of 2.8 per person. Labor politicians hold 190 properties with an average closer to 2.

Trumping them all is Nationals senator Barry O’ Sullivan who owns a whopping 33 properties, mostly commercial or industrial.

The group who slice and dice the budget, also known as “the razor gang”, all own property.

ABC notes that the three primary reasons for the increased ownership amongst the politicians is that they are typically “older, whiter and richer”. Caveats to the analysis include the counting of jointly owned properties and properties owned by trusts or companies.

Regardless, what this analysis does highlight is the very personal stake held by Australian politicians in any shakeups to negative gearing or the capital gains tax.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who owns two properties, has her own theory about why Australia has a housing affordability problem. Just guess who she blames.

To see how your local member of parliament is doing, check the ABCs list here. (Spoiler: pretty darn good).

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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