Australia

Bertaud Book Suggested for Australian PM Scott Morrison's Reading List

Australia’s Grattan Institute has included former World Bank principal planner’s Order Without Design: How Markets Shape Cities on its annual “Prime Minister’s Summer Reading List” (Summer starts in just a couple of weeks there). It is a good recommendation. We reviewed the book earlier this year.

Some excerpts from that review follow:  read more »

Australia's High-Rise Apartment Crash Turns Apocalyptic

Yesterday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its dwelling approvals data for November, which revealed that dwelling approvals nationally have crashed by 35% in trend terms from the March 2015 peak, driven by a mammoth 52% decline in unit and apartment approvals.  read more »

The Urban Consolidation Effect (Zoning Effect) on Australian House Prices

As George Bernard Shaw is reported to have said, Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language. So too, America and Australia, not to mention America and Canada, New Zealand, and elsewhere.  read more »

Australian Treasurer Given Primer on Housing Economics

Wodonga (Victoria) mother of two Mel Wilson has made headlines across Australia with an open letter to Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey on housing affordability. In commenting on Australia's housing affordability crisis, the Treasurer has told a press conference "The starting point for a first home buyer is to get a good job that pays good money."  read more »

Urban Containment: Land Price Up 5 Times Income & Smaller

The shocking extent to which urban containment policy (urban consolidation policy) is associated with higher land (and house) prices is illustrated by a recent press release from RP Data in Australia. The analysis examined the vacant building lot prices for the period of 1993 to 2013.
During the period, the median price of a vacant lot rose 168 percent after adjustment for inflation. This is nearly 5 times the increase in the median household incomes of the seven largest capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney).  read more »

Growing Traffic Threatens Sydney

In the "letter of the week" in The North Shore Times, Save Our Suburbs President Tony Recsei decries the rising traffic congestion that is occurring in Sydney from the densification policies. Urban planners had misled residents into believing that higher population densities would reduce traffic congestion as more people shifted to mass transit.  read more »

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Congratulations Senator Bob Day

Congratulations to Bob Day, who was elected as a federal Senator from South Australia. Day was one of six Senators elected from the state in the September 7 election. While most of the seats in the lower house of Parliament were quickly decided, the Senate seats too considerably longer under Australia’s preferential voting system.  read more »

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Sydney's Long and Lengthening Commute Times

The New South Wales Department of Transport Housing and Transportation Survey reports that the average one way work trip in the Sydney metropolitan area (statistical division) reached 34.3 minutes in 2010. As a result, Sydney now has the longest reported commute time in the New World (United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand), except for the New York City metropolitan area (34.6 minutes).  read more »

Population Growth in Australia Has Normalized

Yesterday’s Daily Telegraph contained an interesting article on the increasing number of Australians departing Australia permanently:  read more »

Australia Central Banker: Higher House Prices a "Social Problem"

Glenn Stevens, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia expressed concern about the growing gap in housing affordability in the nation to a parliamentary committee on Friday. Stevens raised questions about the cost and supply of housing, asking:

"How is it that we can't add to the dwelling stock for the marginal new entrant more cheaply than we seem to be able to do," he asked.  read more »