Articles on housing affordability

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Is assuming houses are like bananas making us look like apes? Michael Lokner/Flicker

Going bananas over affordable housing

A poster in the head office of a state planning agency claims: “Highest Housing Approvals in a decade: Keeping homes more affordable”. Indeed, the latest figures show national housing approvals rose 16…
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…
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…
On budget night there will be winners and losers when it comes to housing subsidies. Alan Porritt/AAP

At budget time, remember we all live in subsidised housing

The great Australian dream to own a house has long been underwritten by the great Australian housing subsidy. Whether you are a public or social housing tenant, a private renter or a homeowner, chances…
The National Rental Affordability Scheme is working as designed, but has failed to meet targets. jroyals/Flickr

Rental affordability scheme fears are misplaced

The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) looks set for a major shakeup by the government, following suggestions it has been hijacked by universities to develop subsidised studio apartments for wealthy…
Everyone has a dream home, but for many it remains a dream. www.shutterstock.com

Living on The Block and other housing fantasies

It’s ironic that fantasy home shows are the latest genre in reality TV, at a time when affordable housing is the real fantasy for many. The format is strangely addictive – photogenic twenty somethings…
The vision for a “Global Sydney” overshadows the need for affordable housing in the city. James Morgan/AAP

Sydney’s ‘global’ vision bad news for local housing affordability

The forecast is grim for housing affordability in Sydney, according to a recent government briefing paper. In the last decade median rent for all properties in the inner ring of Sydney more than doubled…
Australians of all ages are lining up to tap the equity in their home, but as a policy solution for welfare it comes with many risks. Julian Smith/AAP

Your home as an ‘ATM’: home equity a risky welfare tool

Perceptions of the family home have changed dramatically in recent years. Once viewed as a tool to ensure low housing costs in old age, a more complex and wide-ranging welfare role for home ownership has…
Under the current tax regime, investors and cashed up owner occupiers are bidding up the cost of housing. Dean Lewins/AAP

Explainer: why negative gearing is bad policy

In an ideal (and economically efficient) world, tax policy would not influence the investment or consumption choices taxpayers make. In reality, this neutrality is rarely achieved. External factors influence…
For many people, renting is preferable to buying, but many of Australia’s institutions don’t reflect that choice. April Fonti/AAP

Renting for life? Housing shift requires rethink of renters’ rights

Australia is the world capital for property speculation. Australians play property like Monopoly: buying, selling, demolishing, rebuilding, extending, renovating, always with the promise of appreciation…
Feeling secure about housing is very important for elderly people, especially when physical and financial constraints limit their options. Image from Shutterstock.com

Affordable housing is a problem for older Australians, too

The federal parliament has established a far-reaching inquiry into affordable housing. The terms of reference make only two specific references to issues affecting older people, but it is essential that…
Affordable housing in China is usually clustered into fenced housing estates of 1000 to 4000 dwelling units. Rebecca L.H. Chiu

China plans 36 million affordable homes: lessons for Australia

The sudden dismissal of Australia’s National Housing Supply Council last month suggests we may be entering a new housing policy vacuum. This is bad news for aspiring first home buyers, whose numbers have…
A government guarantee could attract more private investment into affordable housing. PT Money/Flickr

It’s time we incentivised affordable housing investment

First home buyers are slipping in the ranks of Australians purchasing a home, and once again negative gearing and supply issues are back in the spotlight. Even Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond has…

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