Articles on Housing

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The return of the historic problem of overcrowded dwellings points to a need in Australia for better understanding of the causes and regulatory responses. Jacob Riis (1889)

Overcrowded housing looms as a challenge for our cities

The standards we use today were designed to help avoid the overcrowded housing that blighted cities in the past. But severe overcrowding is again on the rise, so what needs to be done?
It’s not easy to tell, but about a quarter of Airbnb properties in Sydney are essentially commercial letting operations. paul/Flickr

Airbnb regulation needs to distinguish between sharing and plain old commercial letting

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.
A For Sale sign is shown outside a house under construction in a new subdivision in Beckwith, Ont., in January 2018. Conventional wisdom suggests urban-dwelling millennials don’t want to live in the suburbs and don’t want to raise children in a two-bedroom downtown condo. Is it really true? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Challenging the myths about millennials and housing

If it's true millennials are being squeezed out of the housing market in some of Canada's biggest cities, here's what we can, and should, do about it.
Hobart is facing a rental accommodation shortfall of about 5,000 households, but the statewide shortage totals more than 29,000 households. Dave Hunt/AAP

Councils’ help with affordable housing shows how local government can make a difference

Tasmania has an estimated rental housing shortfall of 29,200 households across the state. Especially in disadvantaged rural areas, local councils have had to step in to help house residents locally.
Housing is just one of the essentials in household budgets and it’s when there’s no way to manage all these costs that financial stress really sets in. Emma Baker

Housing affordability stress affects one in nine households, but which ones are really struggling?

Housing affordability is one of Australia’s great unsolved problems. Some households can make adjustments to cover high housing costs, but the ones deprived of essentials are under real stress.
Highly inflated house prices are more concerning to people wishing to move from renting to purchasing a house (mostly potential first home buyers). Dan Peled/AAP

Housing costs are actually the same as in 1993, but renters still struggle

Even though house prices have risen substantially over recent decades, housing affordability for those with mortgages or own their houses outright hasn't worsened
People are alarmed about Airbnb’s impacts, but these are far from uniform across the city. Justin Lane/EPA

Airbnb: who’s in, who’s out, and what this tells us about rental impacts in Sydney and Melbourne

The patterns of Airbnb listings in Australia's biggest cities suggest impacts on rental housing are likely to be biggest in high-end areas that appeal to tourists. Low-income areas are less affected.
The RBA argues that it needs to balance financial stability risks against the need to stimulate the economy through lower interest rates. But this has left inflation running below its target range. DARREN ENGLAND/AAP

The RBA’s shift to worrying about financial stability could be hurting Australian wages

If the RBA continues to sacrifice its inflation target on the altar of financial stability risks, inflation expectations and our wages growth will continue to languish.
A luxury home near Philadelphia. Alexandra Staub

Is bigger really better?

Middle-class houses in the US have grown ever larger. The average single-family home is almost twice the size of a home in the 1960s. It's time to consider the downsides of sizing up.
Governments have all but abandoned the commitments made a decade ago when Kevin Rudd launched a national campaign to reduce homelessness. Dean Lewins/AAP

Homelessness: Australia’s shameful story of policy complacency and failure continues

A decade after the launch of a national campaign against homelessness, the trends are all going the wrong way. A new annual report highlights what's gone wrong and what must be done.

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