News that almost 1000 people registered their interest in the first blocks of land at Canberra's newest suburb within hours of its release shouldn't come as a surprise.
Second only to the fact that we're in the midst of a global pandemic, the topic of real estate has been top of mind for most, if not all of us, for the past two years.
The rampaging market has been the least predicted - but in retrospect, most predictable - byproduct of the pandemic.
In an uncertain environment, security is the first thing people will reach for. Most of us have our immediate needs covered - food, shelter, a source of income.
The next obvious thing to focus on is property because, as we've long been told, what could be more secure than real estate?
Chuck in record-low interest rates, and, as 2020 drew to a close, prices were spiralling steadily upwards, thus slamming the door on countless dreams of home ownership.
Suburb records are tumbling weekly; a house under $1 million is practically seen as a bargain in the current environment, and suburbs further from the city, that were once considered reliably affordable, are now well over $900,000.
Meanwhile, new suburbs are spreading ever outwards; Ginninderry, Canberra's newest town centre, straddles the NSW border.
But if one can't afford a house in an established suburb, a relatively small vacant block in a new suburb is the next best thing.
This fierce and ever-growing demand for land in Canberra was in evidence last year when 7500 people registered to buy 115 blocks of land released in Taylor.
While it was hard to imagine how far - and how fast - property prices were set to rise as the pandemic closed in in 2020, it's now almost impossible to imagine how and when the market will finally settle.
But frustrated buyers may find comfort in last week's predictions from leading property figures, who say relaxed buyer competition and slower rates of growth could be on the cards in 2022.
Regardless, the fact remains that the country's real estate woes - because that is what the issue represents for more people than it benefits - is, for some reason, the most under-debated issue of the upcoming federal election.
Despite being in full campaign mode as the notional date draws nearer, neither side has, to date, put forward policies to address housing affordability.
Omicron and the way forward is the most pressing issue of the day, despite what the government wants us to believe. But this pandemic has an end point, and most Australians will be interested in getting a sense of how the country might begin to pick itself up once it is, to all intents and purposes, behind us.
And even if this time is still far beyond the next election, it's the future we're all focused on. Again, it's the concept of security, and what Australians can expect out of life.
If fewer and fewer of us can expect to be homeowners - long considered the ultimate Australian Dream - then what can we expect?
Our ruling parties would do well to start focusing on this most pressing issue, even as they work to sail us through these difficult throes of a traumatic worldwide event. More than ever, a sense of security is what people will be seeking.
The idea that our government and opposition have at least turned their minds to the current real estate predicament will be a good place to start.
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