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Housing density in Australian cities has soared, but house prices continue to reach new records

Finding an affordable place to live is the biggest problem in Australia, especially in our largest cities, which are experiencing record population growth.

Whether renting or buying, it has never been more expensive (at least in nominal terms) to find a place to call home in most of the country.

After decades of policies that focused mainly on spending public money to enable people to pay even more – think first of homebuyer subsidies and rental subsidies – attention is finally turning to other solutions.

The new craze is YIMBYism – the “yes in my backyard” counterpart to those NIMBYs who want to freeze the heart of cities at any given time.

The roughly decade-old YIMBY movement demands that places start meeting the needs of potential residents, not just their existing residents, by building more homes, even at the expense of the amenities of those already living there .

And governments are taking notice, with recent changes in New South Wales to override local planning and heritage controls within 400 meters of major train stations and urban centres.

But despite the catchy new title, the idea of ​​building up instead of expanding is not new.

I wrote in this piece for the ABC in 2011 about the benefits of increased urban density and the dangers of NIMBYism – does that make me an unwitting forerunner of the YIMBY movement?