Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott Mike Richards GLA

First home buyers need ‘ambition’: Abbott defends Hockey

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has urged would-be homebuyers to be ambitious but not "over-extend yourself", after defending Joe Hockey's comments that people should get a good job to afford a house.

Mr Hockey on Tuesday prompted a social media furore after he said people needed to get a good paying job to buy a home, rejecting claims of a housing bubble in Sydney.

Mr Abbott said on Wednesday he did not want to respond to questions about the comments.

However, he said that even he, as a Cabinet minister, had sometimes struggled to pay a Sydney mortgage.

"So the Abbott family certainly understands what it's like to have a mortgage. We still have a mortgage," he said.

Mr Abbott said potential first home buyers should be "ambitious" but not over-extend themselves in trying to buy a house, and he believed that was the message Mr Hockey had for people on Tuesday.

Despite the prime minister's efforts to hose down claims of a property bubble, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens said the Sydney property market was "crazy".

After a speech in Brisbane, where he described the economy's performance as "disappointing", Mr Stevens said the Sydney property market was "acutely concerning" and that it was a social problem along with an economic one.

Amid the debate, the Housing Industry Association has called on the Abbott government to establish a national Housing Minister to oversee a strategy to help state governments release more land.

The residential building lobby called for "national leadership", which was required to address land supply, taxes and help improve planning.


Verdict reached in Wilmar Sugar trial into worker's death

Verdict reached in Wilmar Sugar trial into worker's death

Finding in court case into the death of sugar mill worker.

Like a one-punch assault

Like a one-punch assault

Nightclub attack described as similar to one-punch assault.

Villains shirt lands man in court trouble

Villains shirt lands man in court trouble

Shirt almost lands man contempt of court charge.

Local Partners