Articles on housing affordability

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Most Sydneysiders are concerned about the effects of foreign investment on the local real estate market. Dave Hunt/AAP

Sydneysiders blame foreign investors for high housing prices – survey

Only 18% of Sydneysiders think foreign investors should be able to buy property. They simply don't accept arguments that this investment improves housing affordability by increasing supply.
Driven by higher returns on their equity, debt-financed investors are dominating the housing market and shaping its growth. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Investors are exploiting returns on debt financing to muscle out home buyers

New research shows the actual returns on equity for housing investors are higher than most people realise. This helps explain why investors are able to out-compete other home buyers.
Households are not competing on equal terms in the private rental market – their perceptions of insecurity vary according to their means, location and reasons for renting. April Fonti/AAP

The insecurity of private renters – how do they manage it?

Private renters' security of tenure in Australia has less legal protection than in other countries with high private rental rates. A new study reveals mixed responses to this state of uncertainty.
Even though Sydney’s population growth (at 14%) is below the average across all capital cities, its housing supply failed to match this growth. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Get used to your commute: data confirms houses near jobs are too expensive

Data on housing supply in Australia's capital shows that while it's increasing in areas with lots of jobs, house prices are too high for those who might want to move for work.
Australia’s population is highly concentrated in a few cities, so once centres like Newcastle have absorbed the spill-over from high-cost capitals, where will the talent go? City of Newcastle/AAP

From ‘white flight’ to ‘bright flight’ – the looming risk for our growing cities

Australia has few places to capture the spill-over of talented workers priced out of the big cities. Some may leave the country altogether – and where talent goes, capital flows.
Restoring and expanding Australia’s run-down public housing stocks will need an increase in funding on top of the reforms in the budget. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Budget 2017 charts new social and affordable housing agenda

The budget is pushing for a much-needed reboot of the social housing sector. What it isn't offering is extra funding to renew and expand run-down housing stocks.
Unless the demand pressures are eased, first home buyers are still likely to be crowded out of the market. Sam Mooy/AAP

Budget needs a sharper policy scalpel to help first home buyers

The budget acknowledges the crisis of affordability for first home buyers, but fails to do enough about demand pressures on prices to put home ownership back within their reach.
The budget brought no increase in rent assistance to help low-income renters in the private rental market. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Is this the budget that forgot renters?

For the majority of Australia’s renters, housing will remain unaffordable, insecure, and out of reach following the 2017-18 federal budget.
When public investment in a development like Sydney’s Northern Beaches Hospital boosts land values, who should reap those gains: the community or individual owners? NSW Premier's Office/AAP

Tax on ‘unearned gains’ is the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

Who is entitled to the increase in value created by planning approvals, new infrastructure, population growth or urban development? For John Stuart Mill, the answer would have been the community.
Are the millennials doomed to be nomads, locked out of the home-ownership market forever? sharon_k/flickr

Off the plan: shelter, the future and the problems in between

Owning a home has deep cultural and economic connotations. A home owner is a member of a street, a community. They are a successful adult human. They own a piece of the pie, the dream.
Older Australians are not deterred by financial barriers as much as emotional ones, when it comes to downsizing. www.shutterstock.com

Why older Australians don’t downsize and the limits to what the government can do about it

When people do downsize, financial incentives are generally not the big things on their minds. And so most of the budget’s financial incentives will go to those who were going to downsize anyway.
Low-cost housing development on the city outskirts can expose owners to higher costs in the long run. Paul Miller/AAP

Affordable housing is not just about the purchase price

People are taking on larger future risks and costs just so they can buy a house. Increases in new home owners are seen as a positive development, but what if they can't afford the ongoing costs?

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