The recent slump in building approvals is a reminder of the risks of an over-reliance on a boom-and-bust market to meet all housing needs.
Housing markets never have met the lowest-income households' needs. Now is the time to tackle problems that have been years in the making by creating a better system to supply their housing.
Labor wants housing to be a federal election issue, but to solve the problems of recent decades Australian governments need to comprehensively rethink their approach.
The problems with housing systems in Australia and similar countries run deep. Solutions depend on a fundamental rethink of our approach to housing and its central place in our lives and the economy.
When prices are falling, fewer home owners will choose to sell if they can afford to stay put.
It's natural to assume that a downturn in the property market is good news for people who've been priced out of the market. In practice, they might still not be able to buy a home.
Housing affordability becomes less of a concern in the years after buying a house, especially for people who bought a decade or more ago.
Affordability is a problem across Sydney for prospective home buyers. But if they are able to become owners, new research shows affordability becomes much less of a problem over five to ten years.
You can’t build housing without land, and developers typically control the rate of which it’s released to stop prices falling.
The thing about new housing is you need land to build it on. Developers are able to control its release at a rate that doesn't put downward pressure on prices.
Eliminating stamp duty would bring on more real estate transactions, but that might not be a good thing.
The conventional case for swapping stamp duty for land tax will boost the economy has weak underpinnings.
Vendors in Australia are not legally obliged to tell prospective buyers about past crimes such as murder committed on the property.
It's still mostly a case of 'buyer beware' when it comes to finding out about a property. But many buyers feel they should be told if, for example, it was the scene of a violent murder.
More families are living in high-rise apartments.
Urban policies are based on assumptions of a "normal household" and what buildings for it should look like. So this research project explored how people feel about children in high-density housing.
If you want to separate investor demand for property assets from demand for affordable housing, rent is a better indicator than property prices.
Property prices have soared in the past decade, but much more modest increases in rent, with the exception of Sydney, suggest less of an imbalance of supply and demand for housing as a place to live.
Only in the past couple of years has housing construction got close to matching population growth in Sydney and other big cities.
Migrants have similar home ownership rates to the overall population and rely less on public housing. But housing supply shortfalls and higher prices have reduced ownership among recent migrants.
A single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel in Chinatown in Vancouver, B.C.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Low-income women suffer evictions and violence in Canada's most "livable" cities.
The air may fizzle out of the Australian balloon, or it may burst violently.
A whole bunch of folks are on the wire, and if their housing payments go up they are going to struggle.
It’s not easy to tell, but about a quarter of Airbnb properties in Sydney are essentially commercial letting operations.
One problem with Airbnb is that it isn't transparent about how many properties are truly 'shared' and how many are just part of a letting business. Regulators need to know that to manage the impacts.
Will Sydney’s property market calm down now? Don’t bet on it.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Foreign investment in Australian property has plummeted by more than half, signalling an apparent end to the China-fuelled real estate frenzy. Along the way we learned some useful lessons about boom and bust.
In the 1980s, Australian geographer Maurice Daly exposed the urban planning system as a policy toolkit developers could capitalise on to drive subdivision and speculation – an insight that remains true even today.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Essays On Air: Australia’s property boom and bust cycle stretches back to colonial days.
The Conversation, CC BY 58,7 MB (download)
Australia's property market is slowing and many are contemplating a possible bust. But today's episode of Essays On Air reminds us that since colonial days, Australia's property market has had its ups and downs.
The argument that stronger supply will deliver more affordable housing isn’t borne out in areas where new unit and apartment construction is booming.
The clichés about housing supply and regulatory restraints are distractions from the need to focus on expanding the affordable housing sector to directly meet the needs of low-income households.
Older and poorer Australians aren’t benefiting from negative gearing.
New modelling shows negative gearing and capital gains taxes can be reformed in a way that doesn't impact poorer investors.
The old pathways to home ownership have been displaced by more uncertain routes that waver between owning and renting.
Increasingly insecure pathways to home ownership are not just a problem for property markets. The fallout is likely to hit retirement incomes, the welfare base, gender equity and the broader economy.
In the past, house building matched high immigration. Construction has increased, particularly in Sydney, but needs to make up the backlog of a decade of undersupply.
Australian governments are faced with a choice: make the difficult decisions to fix planning systems so more houses can be built, or tap the brakes on Australia's migrant intake.
New affordable housing development in Melbourne.
Ryan van den Nouwelant
Based on research comparing projects across the country, a new assessment tool calculates cost-effective ways to fund affordable housing to meet specified needs in different markets.