Articles on housing affordability

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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.
The problem with the current rezoning approach is that it leads to huge windfall profits and developments aimed at the upper end of the market. AAP

Sydney needs higher affordable housing targets

The community needs affordable housing and that requires meaningful targets for new developments. The only ones who will lose out are landholders who make windfall profits from rezoning.
The Collective Old Oak co-living block in London has more than 500 apartments with bedrooms and bathrooms. All other spaces are shared. David Hawgood/Geograph

Reinventing density: co-living, the second domestic revolution

While some forms of co-living seek to match modern lifestyles and a desire to downsize, other profit-driven models simply exploit a lack of affordable housing alternatives.
On average, Gen Ys are $50,000 short of the deposit they expect they’ll need to buy their first home. Lolostock from www.shutterstock.com

What’s the key to home ownership for Gen Y?

Without long-term solutions to the imbalance between incomes and house prices, Gen Ys face a lifetime of renting without the financial and emotional security of home ownership.
A national housing policy is needed that recognises how all the sectors – buying, renting, investing, social housing or homeless – are connected. AAP/Paul Miller

Our cities will stop working without a decent national housing policy

A decent national housing policy is not just about the million or so Australians who are in housing need, marginal housing or homeless. In reality, all the housing sectors are connected.
Negative gearing has been untouched for 30 years because it increases housing supply and the stock of rental properties. Shutterstock

PolicyCheck: Negative gearing reform

Negative gearing reform is complex and fraught, with a chequered recent history. The key to any future reform will be finding a way to equitably change it without losing its benefit.
It’s unfortunate that demographic shifts mean that young Australians will have to support a large number of older Australians. But it is not an injustice. Shutterstock

Young people’s economic disadvantage is unlucky – not unjust

Young people are not entitled to a life as comfortable as that of their parents, but they are entitled to expect that governments will not hinder them in that pursuit.
Before entering politics, Scott Morrison was employed to develop policy for the Property Council of Australia, which is now leading the charge against negative-gearing reform. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Housing policy is captive to property politics, so don’t expect politicians to tackle affordability

The default position for politicians is to sound concerned about housing affordability, but do nothing. This can be explained by the idea of 'policy capture', in this case by industry interests.
A key problem with working out the impacts of negative gearing is that we don’t know exactly which properties it affects or the status of their tenants. AAP/Dan Peled

Scrap or preserve negative gearing? Here’s six other options worth debating

What if there was a middle option between retention and abolition that made negative gearing work better? There are multiple ways to improve accountability for this $8 billion-a-year tax concession.
Labor’s Chris Bowen and Bill Shorten announced plans for new tax rules, and the government, even as it attacked their plan, has also opened the door to changes to negative gearing. AAP/Gemma Najen

A first step on negative gearing, but not much more

The problem is there are already too many buyers willing to pay high prices, and negative gearing is designed to create more buyers willing to pay more.
The housing problems experienced by low-income households are a symptom of entrenched inequality within Australia. AAP/Dan Peled

How policy success, not failure, has driven Australia’s housing crisis

Government policy has not, on the whole, failed. It has been a huge success insofar as protecting the opportunities for speculative investment and profit for homeowners and private landlords.

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