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Housing policymaking hasn’t gone smoothly since Tony Abbott sidelined the experts by scrapping the National Housing Supply Council in 2013. Alan Porritt/AAP

Mounting housing stress underscores need for expert council to guide wayward policymaking

Unaffordable housing and homelessness are burning issues. Policymaking has suffered from a critical lack of data and expert input since the National Housing Supply Council was axed in 2013.
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.
The Turnbull government’s line that supply is the key to affordability finds little support among housing experts. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

What housing issues should the budget tackle? This is what our experts say

Housing experts writing for The Conversation largely agree on the government policies that are causing negative distortions in the market and the wider economy. And supply is not the key concern.
Scott Morrison has recently broadened the range of affordable housing policy options he’s considering, and moving beyond simplistic supply-side solutions would be a positive development. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Australia’s almost a world leader in home building, so that isn’t a fix for affordability

The housing supply solution our leaders are advocating will only work if affordability is simply a problem of supply. In fact, Australia is almost a world leader in rates of new housing production.
The government has changed the rules so that another foreign investor can replace one who has pulled out of buying an off-the-plan dwelling. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Changes for off-the-plan foreign buyers rely on a broken supply argument

The government says its changes to foreign investment will increase housing supply and make it more affordable, but that's relying on narrow and possibly incorrect assumptions about investors.
Prefab resprout: Here they come again! wikimedia

Prefab housing is coming back, and this time it’s permanent

In the late 1950s, more than a decade after the war and not long after the rock and roll explosion, Britain embarked on a house-building programme the like of which we have never seen before or since…

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