The recent change to the Hyundai A-League marquee system allowing both marquees to be foreign has been well-received by clubs looking to inject extra class into their starting line-ups.
But there are some who fear the increased intake of expensive foreign players will spell disaster for young home buyers – including many first home buyers – who will be forced out of desirable suburbs by cashed-up A-League clubs looking to give their new stars a luxurious home.
“I don’t know how we’re expected to compete with these clubs,” 21-year-old Briyan Mulder told FMF. Like many young Sydneysiders, Riyan has had a torrid time as a newcomer to the real estate market. Already priced out of such suburbs as Rose Bay, Paddington and Glebe, Briyan was recently outbid at auction for a $1.5 million bungalow in Sydney’s inner west. The buyer? Sydney FC, which purchased the property for Slovakian international Filip Holosko.
“With my post-graduate studies at University of Sydney commencing in a few months, I wanted to rid myself of the 25-minute commute from my parents’ place in Kingsgrove,” Briyan said. “My parents and I went into the auction with $1.8 million, which you’d think would be enough. But Tony Pignata was there, and before I knew it, the bidding was way out of my range.
“With more international marquees now allowed in the A-League, I and many other young people will be forced into the outskirts of the inner city suburbs. 35-minute commutes into the city, forced to drive for up to three minutes simply to buy groceries… it’s just not Australian.”
Toby Harrelson of Domain Group agrees, telling FMF that any increase to the number of international marquees could have far-reaching implications for the housing market.
“It’s a slippery slope. If the government doesn’t tighten laws on real estate investment to deter misuse, before you know it there could be tens of thousands of international marquees flooding the housing market. State governments need to work with Football Federation Australia to ensure the level of foreign marquee investment does not create a shortfall in the supply of housing across the country.”
When contacted for comment, Football Federation Australia issued a statement saying, “International marquees represent a small percentage of total home owners across the country when compared to the level of investment by Australian residents. We do not foresee this recent increase to the foreign marquee allotment – or any future increase – creating a detrimental situation within the Australian housing market.”
Statements like this are cold comfort to young Australians like Briyan, who since his auction disappointment has been forced to purchase a one-bedroom penthouse apartment in Narwee, in Sydney’s south-west.
“Generation Y has a long, hard road ahead if we’re forced to live in places like this. I can only hope the government steps in before terms like ‘walking distance’ becomes nothing but a distant memory.”