I've lived in the inner-west all my life & I know 5 or so squatters. Yep. There are vacant buildings everywhere you probably just don't know it. There's a whole world outside the market & we need to encourage this sort of thing, or else a city becomes locked into mortgages with little job flexibility. The ability to live cheaply in a city is very important. High costs to maintain a basic lifestyle mean less risk taken, less businesses started, less innovation, less arts. In total contrast to Sydney is Berlin: high unemployment, very low cost of living, tons of start-ups, tons of arts.