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Housing Articles

Housing regulations: a blow to the poor and to everybody’s living standards

Catallaxy Files, 1 March 2018

The information that the price of new housing land in Melbourne jumped 36 per cent last year might be great news for existing house owners who can expect a further leap in value of their main asset but it is a disaster for those who are renters or seeking to purchase a home. The average Melbourne house price at the end of 2017 was $817,000 with Sydney at $1,117,000. 

Housing regulations: a blow to the poor and to everybody’s living standards

Catallaxy Files, 1 March 2018

The information that the price of new housing land in Melbourne jumped 36 per cent last year might be great news for existing house owners who can expect a further leap in value of their main asset but it is a disaster for those who are renters or seeking to purchase a home. The average Melbourne house price at the end of 2017 was $817,000 with Sydney at $1,117,000. Across Australia, house prices adjusted for general inflation increased 34 per cent over the past five years, notwithstanding a s

Excessive house prices: land use regulation and not immigration is the solution

Catallaxy Files, 28 January 2018

Tony Abbott must surely be the only possible route by which Australia can emulate the benefits that the US is now reaping from the election of President Trump. While being a more refined politician than The Donald but falling short of many of our hopes when in office, Abbott shares Trump’s goals of small government, and like him contests Political Correctness, and is pro-liberty and democracy. Abbott’s unadvertised selfless, personal charity work among Aboriginal communities marks him as uniqu

Housing supply chokehold is self-inflicted

Herald Sun, 14 April 2017

FOR the past 30 years, Australian house price increases have vastly outpaced general inflation. We are talking here of standard homes, not those in the inner suburbs, still less harbourside mansions. In the Australia of the 1980s, it took three times the median household income to buy the average house. Today it takes six times the median income (in Sydney and Melbourne respectively it’s over 12 and nine times median household incomes). The basic reason why prices have risen so strongly is becau

Housing policies as a drain on wealth creation

Catallaxy Files, 14 April 2017

Nowadays there is not much dispute that regulatory constraints on supply is the main reason why Australian house prices are up in the stratosphere. Governments are incapable of unwinding decades of cumulative regulatory controls on housing which have created Hong Kong land prices in a nation with the world’s greatest supply of developable land. Since the 1980s dwelling numbers have increased 40 per cent and people 60 per cent. Prices that used to average three times household incomes are now

Australian housing’s regulatory price boost not about to end

Catallaxy Files, 23 January 2017

Global housing consultancy, Demographia, has confirmed what Australians always knew. Our house prices are extremely high and there is no relief in sight. ​ In 2016, out of 406 world cities surveyed for housing prices in relation to incomes, Australia is the leader with four cities the top 11 and 8 of the top 20 most highly priced housing markets. ​ Sydney comes second (after Hong Kong) where it takes 12.2 times the median household income to buy the median priced house. Sydney’s median priced

Saint Tony falters – house prices ARE too high

Published on Catallaxy Files, 3 June 2015

Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has said he hopes house prices will continue to rise gradually and is making political capital from suggestions from the Labor side that they are too high. The fact is that median house prices in Australia are, in relation to income levels, two to three times as expensive as in those jurisdictions (including most of the US, and Germany) where planning and other regulations are less stringent. This is not because of land shortages (Australia has more abundant land availability than any other nation – even Sydney hemmed in by the ocean and national parks could increase its size by 50 per cent simply within the County of Cumberland). Nor is it because building costs are high – although unionisation of apartment buildings creates excessive costs, single and double story houses are built by small businesses contracting with each in a highly competitive manner.

Housing taxes on foreigners will backfire on the economy

Published on Catallaxy Files, 4 May 2015

Text.Henry Ergas, points to adverse implications of the attack on tax deductability for housing which would both to raise tax and lower demand competition for owner buyers. Whether or not housing investors are to be hit with taxes, both the Commonwealth and the Victorian State Governments have discovered housing as a new source of taxation revenue. In both cases the new tax slug is accompanied by claims that it is in accordance with the moral high ground.

Land Release the Answer to Hot Housing Market

Herald Sun, 20 March 2015

Surging prices have invited many actions. These include attempts to force developers to include low-cost housing in new projects, a solution that fails at the first jump since it means the other buyers, many of whom are battlers, get charged more and, in effect, pay the subsidies

Killing the housing industry by throttling demand

Published on Catallaxy Files, 26 February 2015

Among the more affluent who are seeking to upgrade their housing to a preferred location, there is considerable discussion about the Chinese squeeze on purchases. This is not just something that is imagined by disgruntled under-bidders, the top end of the real estate industry has recognised the buying power of Chinese speakers, the majority of whom are probably residents and all major firms have been hiring Chinese speaking sales staff. Data is poor. The RBA estimated that in the most recent year 12 per cent of new dwelling turnover and 3 per cent of sales of existing properties was accounted for by foreign buyers. And these estimates were considered to be on the high side due to some FIRB approvals not being followed up by actual purchases.

Houses too Expensive? Blame the Plethora of Planning Laws

Published in Australian Financial Review, 19 January 2015

Negative Gearing and the Capital Gains Tax Regime are not the reason for High House Prices. Out of 86 cities across the world with over a million people, house prices relative to incomes in Sydney and Melbourne were the third and sixth most expensive. That's the finding of the latest annual survey of house prices released this week by Demographia. Some jurisdictions - the south in the US and most of Canada have house prices relative to incomes that are half of Australia's. The reasons for the differing fortunes of mainly young people looking to buy their first house ..........

Should we do away with negative gearing?

Herald Sun 17 October 2014

THE Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has joined other voices in calling for an end to negative gearing for housing. This involves an investor who makes a loss on an asset, offsetting some of this by paying less tax and hoping to come out on top if the market revalues the asset. The investor’s success depends upon the price of houses rising. This has been the norm in Australia but in the US, following the 2007 crisis, house prices in California, Florida and elsewhere halved and remain below their previous levels

The Regulators White-Anting New Homes

Quadrant Online, June 20 2014

Premiers claiming credit for the release of outer-suburban land have lost the plot. Even as they boost grants to aspiring home owners, prices driven by the burden of the regulatory costs their governments impose rise even faster

The Aussie dream one of the most expensive

Herald Sun 25th January, 2013

Government chips away at planning controls

Herald Sun 14th December, 2012

House prices must be allowed to fall

The Drum 21st June, 2012

Access to land the root of soaring house prices

Herald Sun 4th March, 2011

Government red tape puts us in house bind

Herald Sun 4th February, 2011

Surely the election can afford debate on housing

Herald Sun 21st August, 201


It's time misguided land starvation was stopped

The West Australian 18th March, 2010


Price of a new house could be so much cheaper

Herald Sun 6th March, 2010

Government to blame for costly housing

Herald Sun 9th January, 2010

Easier zoning would deflate home prices

Sydney Morning Herald 13th February, 2010


Sinking benefits for landholders

The Australian Financial Review 19th November, 2009

New housing prices could be so much cheaper

The Herald Sun 30th May, 2009

Open convection

ABC Unleashed 24th April, 2009

Costly one day, perfectly prohibitive the next

Courier Mail 26th January, 2009


More land does not mean cheaper housing

Herald Sun 13th December, 2008

Sydney shuts the door on affordable average price

Australian Financial Review 30th August, 2008

Regulations retard home ownership

Herald Sun 14th July, 2008

Planning adds to high costs

Herald Sun 31st May, 2008

State can't afford a home affordability crisis

Courier-Mail 27th March, 2008

More land, lower prices - guaranteed

The Age 13th March, 2008

Land constrictions cause housing pain

Herald Sun 26th January, 2008


To Lower The Cost Of Housing, Cut The Red Tape

The Age 6th November, 2007

Government has levers to increase land supply, improve housing affordability

The Age 17th October, 2007

Markets being stifled by the man with a plan

Herald Sun 22nd September, 2007

Land controls at heart of housing crisis

The Herald Sun 25th August, 2007

Debt disease sparks stock stampede

The Age 17th August, 2007

Lucky, or another whiteboard?

The Age 1st August, 2007

Put the house price myths out to pasture

Australian Financial Review 23rd July, 2007

Give me land, lots of land ... the housing will follow 18th July, 2007


Policy builds on irrationality

Australian Financial Review 4th July, 2007

Federalism could open locked land

The Herald Sun 16th June, 2007

How to slash housing cost

The Courier-Mail 15th June, 2007

Battlers locked out of dream homes

The Herald Sun 24th February, 2007

Strong Political Will Needed For Cheaper Housing

Herald Sun 4th October, 2013

Planning rules price more people out of housing market

The Age 23rd January, 2007

Spiralling house prices a national tragedy

The Herald Sun 13th January, 2007

Land rationing is not rational

Australian Financial Review 26th September, 2006

Too many obstacles to cheap housing

The Herald Sun 9th September, 2006

Govt to blame for high home prices

Geelong Advertiser 24th August, 2006

No opportunities on the property ladder

Online Opinion 23rd August, 2006


Land-based wealth an illusion

The Age 3rd August, 2006

Curbing the political abuse of development approvals

Online Opinion 1st February, 2006

Planning laws pump up prices

Australian Financial Review 31st January, 2006


Planning red tape the real culprit

Planning red tape the real culprit


Legislators heed! The burden is proof

The Age 13th July, 2005

Open door mindset needed for housing

The Herald Sun 24th September, 2005

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