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Analysis and Comment (42)

When it comes to housing, perspective is crucial. San Francisco. Andrew Halliday

Deconstructing our hopes for self-regulating house prices

There is a nice weather map cartoon by Matt featuring the UK characterised by the varied intensity of dinner table house price conversation. And it is not just that we are obsessed with property values…
Housing policy not going to be easy street for the UK government. Lifeofgalileo

House prices falling? Don’t bet the bank on it

The news that the British housing market may have reached a turning point, with one forecast showing a price fall in 2015 and a drop in London prices for the first time in three years, will have been welcome…
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion with students in the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory. Research shows acting on overcrowded housing could greatly improve Indigenous kids' school attendance in remote communities. AAP/Neda Vanovac

How crowded homes can lead to empty schools in the bush

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Australia’s housing market is among the most expensive in the world. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Michael Darcy on housing affordability

In the past six months the federal government has cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and announced an inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. In both cases the government…
Australian youth is at risk of being locked out of the housing market, and a significant number are falling through the gaps of the rental market. AAP/David Crosling

Crowded housing market gives youth little chance for independence

It’s Saturday morning in West Brunswick, a suburb in Melbourne’s inner north. From my bedroom window I can see a crowd gathering across the road for a house inspection. The crowd swells to 60 or so people…
Without a new deal soon the Green Deal will go from hot to dead cold. House thermal image by Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

Heat is on for new way to sell Green Deal to householders

Among the UK government’s pronouncements for the new parliamentary session were measures designed to boost zero-carbon home building in order to reap the benefits of lower emissions, lower household energy…
London’s Olympic Park, once one of Europe’s largest and most contaminated brownfield site. BaldBoris

Brownfield sites are opportunities in the heart of towns and cities

The city of Famagusta in Cyprus lies empty, as it has since the 1974 invasion that divided the island into north and south. The city its former inhabitants left behind is now a ghost town, streets overgrown…
The IMF is wasting its time trying to convince central banks of a housing bubble. Shutterstock

Memo to the IMF: there is no housing bubble

Australia’s house prices are grossly overinflated – if you believe the International Monetary Fund’s recent analysis. It says radical policies are required to deflate this emerging housing bubble, such…
Without more investment in public housing, many homeless older women will have nowhere to go. EPA/Sergei Chirikov

Building funds cut even as older women swell ranks of homeless

Social services minister Kevin Andrews recently announced an extension of funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) until June 30, 2015. This agreement funds 180 homelessness…
There’s no shortage of investors in high-rise housing, but is it occupied? Dan Peled/AAP

Housing blame game here to stay in world of infinite demand

It is true that the main culprits for housing prices in Australia are taxation and regulation regimes, as argued by Stephen Kirchner last week. But this is more because of their impact on demand than supply…
Desolation: why are all these houses empty? Peter Byrne/PA

Reach out to owners to fill Britain’s empty homes

London is about to experience a residential building boom the like of which the capital hasn’t experienced in decades. According to a report from New London Architecture there are more than 230 new high-rise…
Losing access to public housing has emerged as a major concern for Aboriginal Victorians. www.panoramio.com/photo/55450813 - taken by densil

How fear and funding undercut a fair go for Indigenous Victorians

Imagine being the mother of a young autistic boy, whose violent outbursts had caused $30,000 of damage to your rented home - but being too afraid to ask anyone for help for fear of having your son taken…
I say, look at the size of this larder. Oli Scarff/PA

Help to Buy is a problem for UK banks, by default

Mortgage rates for the government’s Help to Buy scheme were announced yesterday amid the usual torrent of criticism for a policy that has very few friends. One Daily Telegraph commentator deemed the policy…
Houses should be homes, not assets. Chris Radburn/PA

House prices need to be stabilised, not capped

Amid all the noise around UK housing policy, it is worth taking a step back and asking a deeper question about our property market. Yes, another bubble would be damaging for the UK economy and especially…
Bricks and mortar, yes, but how much insulation under the tiles? Rui Vieira/PA

Plugging 25 million leaky houses is no small task

The UK has some of the oldest – and leakiest – housing stock in the western world. The vast majority of it will still be standing in 2050, the year by which the government has set itself a target to cut…
Not just a nice idea: zero emissions housing is affordable and possible, once some policy changes are made. Jeff Egnaczyk

To cut emissions, the housing sector has to pull its weight

If Australia is to reduce its emissions enough to limit the impacts of climate change, all sectors are going to have to pull their weight. It’s a big job: scientists tell us we need reduce emissions by…
What’s the evidence linking inefficient planning approval processes to expensive housing in Sydney and other state capitals? Nicole Gurran

Home truths: are planners really to blame for our housing “shortage”?

Is Australia becoming a nation of renters, and are planners to blame? Newspaper headlines accompanying the release of a new report on housing supply and affordability, by the federal government’s independent…
There’s more to a house than four walls and a door - the history of home ownership in Australia reveals a lot about our nation. Flickr/Orderinchaos

Me and my McMansion: Australians and their homes

Next time you drive through a suburban street or any country town shut your eyes for a moment and try to imagine the dreams of the people who built that house. Houses are envelopes for our desires and…
The new definition is based on the notion of a “home” rather than minimum community standards of housing. Deadly Sirius

Definition of homelessness changes but problems remain

According to the best estimates at the time, almost 105,000 Australians were homeless on census night in August 2006. This promoted then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to make the ambitious commitment to accommodate…
At a critical juncture: policies to try to make Melbourne a more compact city have failed. AAP

The end of affordable housing in Melbourne?

The Melbourne housing market is at a critical juncture. A new research paper by Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research called ‘The End of Affordable Housing in Melbourne?’ argues…
Damned lies and statistics: the figures indicate a significant deficit of dwellings in Australia. But is the methodology sound? Capt' Gorgeous

Beware the rent-seeking organisation: don’t be dudded by housing data

One of the more interesting outcomes the 2011 Census produced was the figures concerning the housing market. The reason for this interest is how the results contrasted with the idea that Australia currently…
Facing tough questions: NSW’s planning review must grapple with competing visions of development. Flickr/Askew One

Under review: rival visions for people and communities

Later this year Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, faces a difficult decision. Will he prepare new state planning legislation that prioritises a desired outcome: healthy, functional…
Are ordinary homeowners perpetuating Australia’s property bubble? AAP

The property bubble makes us slaves to each other’s debt

While my recent commentary (here and here) demonstrates Australian housing is in a bubble, I have not explained where this situation has come from. Asset markets, in this case, property, are the subject…
Building away from our cities could ease congestion in urban areas. AAP

Escape from Sydney: planning the way out of congestion

Bashing planning has become a national sport, and in NSW, we’re the best at it. Stuck in traffic? Blame the planners. Housing stress? Planners are too slow and too stingy with land release. In the perception…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (3)

Moving tougher on poor children

Children who move frequently while young are more likely to have behavioural problems - but only if they’re from low income…