Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan will boost home building and avoid unpopular new property taxes as he juggles the need to revamp the taxation system with political demands in an election year, economists said.

“We have a clear and growing social problem in Australia where we have a dire lack of affordable rental property,” Harley Dale, chief economist at Housing Industry Association Ltd., said in a phone interview.

Research by the association, whose members account for 85 percent of Australia’s residential building, suggests there is a shortage of 110,000 dwellings across the nation, largely in the most populous state of New South Wales.