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Has the sun set on China’s property boom? Tao Wu via Flickr

Why fears of a Chinese property crash are overblown

The Chinese property market that has powered the country’s rapid economic growth for a decade and a half has suffered a contraction. This seems to confirm a popular pessimistic outlook that China’s property…
Animal spirits: the Reserve Bank will be asked to explain itself on what is means by macroprudential tools. AAP/Dan Peled

It’s too simple to argue lack of supply pushes up house prices

Is there a national housing supply problem? No, but there is a problem of access to affordable housing in certain regions. Last month, Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens commented on the need for “animal…
We must address patchy data collection to get an accurate picture of foreign property investment. ABS

Little hard data in the hard area of foreign investment

A large portion of commentary on foreign investment in Australia is based on scant data, as recent submissions to the inquiry into foreign investment in residential property show. At the moment it seems…
Greenfield land developments have trumped urban growth boundaries in many Australian cities. Joe Castro/AAP

Back to the drawing board for Australian urban planning

State government attempts to redirect development from urban fringes to established urban areas have failed. New deregulated planning systems, not strategic metropolitan plans, are driving development…
Australia’s property market is heating up; but what role have self-funded superannuants played?

Are SMSFs inflating a property bubble?

Self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) have come under criticism from regulators amid concerns that the sector is over-investing in the residential property sector. The profession has hit back at the…
Private land disguised as public space. Even London’s City Hall is rented back from the private sector. Toby Melville/PA

The privatisation of public space

When a public utility is acquired by a private equity firm, there is no doubt what kind of process is underway. The take-over of provision of services and, by extension, ability to profit from them is…
A respected US researcher believes baby boomers retreating from their large homes could lead to a glut of unsellable homes. Could this happen in Australia?

The Boomer housing bust: coming to Australia?

They’re calling it the great “senior sell off” and it’s scaring suburban America. Still recovering from the housing market crisis of 2007-09, America’s latest concern is a looming glut of unsellable suburban…
A quarter of retirees are using their superannuation lump sum to pay off debt: is this poor planning or the result of tax incentives?

For retirees, nothing is certain but debt and taxes

Will extra debt neutralise increases in the superannuation contribution rate? Studies of retirees’ financial positions show that many people accumulate debt faster than they add to their super. Once they…
Australia’s housing and rental affordability crisis is often cited as a justification for negative gearing. AAP

It’s time to abolish negative gearing

Few Australian housing policies are more contentious than negative gearing. Despite the publicity it has received and its popularity with government and property investors, little analysis of negative…
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…
It’s a nice place for a house, but where will you put the strawberry farm? Chip_2904/Flickr

Will Sydney or Melbourne have more hungry people in 2036?

The Victorian Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, recently announced an urban expansion for Melbourne: 5,958 hectares of new suburbs and transport corridors. But he didn’t mention the implicit costs of changing…
Many apartment dwellers would like to know how to make their home more sustainable. But where to start? Chris Kreussling

Untangling the steps to a more sustainable apartment life

Apartment owners beware – your asset could be under threat! If we don’t improve the sustainability of our city apartment blocks their value will fall. Australian cities are increasingly embracing apartment…
Downton Abbey is a period indulgence for some, but at its heart it is a story of property law. AAP/Seven Network

Downton Abbey: melodrama, frocks and … property law?

Dim the lights, don the snuggie and pass the chocolate; Downton Abbey is back. Amid all the mooning over Matthew and Mary, viewers may not have noticed that Downton Abbey is actually about property law…
Apartment living has increased slightly in the past 20 years, but we’re not letting go of our houses just yet. Alan Levine

Fewer occupants, more bedrooms: census shows Australians prefer bigger houses

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the first batch of its census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the numbers on…
Talk of a Chinese property bubble has been greatly exaggerated. Spiffy0777

Busting the myth of China’s property bubble

Five years on, the US economy remains sluggish after the bursting of a house price bubble. More recently, the focus has been on China, the world’s second largest economy, and whether it too might be overwhelmed…
An “eco village” in the UK. With the right policies, energy-efficiency has a future in Australia. telex4

How to make home buyers see the value of energy efficiency

Mandatory energy efficiency ratings for houses have been in force in parts of the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe for some time and appear to have gained general acceptance. New homes in particular…
Our property prices are propped up by a range of political, economic and even emotional reasons. AAP

Does Australia have the fundamentals to cope with our property prices?

Welcome to Safe as Houses, a series delving into a topic close to the heart of many Australians – property. This is not a series on where the market might be heading. Instead we aim to explore how we view…

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