The New South Wales government has proposed a new Metropolitan Strategy for the Sydney area which would significantly weaken the urban containment policy (also called urban consolidation, smart growth, livability, growth management, densification, etc.) that has driven if house prices to among the highest in the affluent New World (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) relative to household incomes. read more »
The Economist reminds readers of the economics of housing (or for that matter, oil or any other good or service): constraining the supply of a good or service in demand raises its price. In a 14-page feature on London, The Economist decries the high cost of housing in London. read more »
Our 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey included the Saginaw, Michigan metropolitan area, which we noted had the lowest Median Multiple (median house price divided by median household income) among the included 325 metropolitan areas. This made Saginaw the most affordable metropolitan market, principally due to depressed economic conditions. read more »
Anyone familiar with housing affordability in the Washington (DC-VA-MD-WV) metropolitan area is aware that prices have risen strongly relative to incomes in the last decade.
However, a recent Washington Post commentary by Roger K. Lewis both exaggerates the contribution of higher construction costs and misses the principal factor that has driven up the price of housing: more restrictive land-use regulations. read more »
When analysing the US housing bubble, four states stand-out for the way in which home values rose into the stratosphere before crashing and burning: California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona (see below chart). read more »
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 »
ACT Party leader Donald Brash, who served from 1988 to 2002 as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (similar in function to the Federal Reserve Board) has noted the poor housing affordability in New Zealand and its connection to growth management policies (called by various names, such as "smart growth," "growth management," "compact cities," "densification" "prescriptive land use regulation" and "urban consolidation").
In an August 25 speech Brash said: read more »
The Wall Street Journal reports that growing concern about Hong Kong's high house prices has led the special administrative region's Chief Executive Donald Tsang to promise an overhaul of housing and land use policies in the fall. read more »
The median price of serviced (improved) lots for new houses in Adelaide is reported to have risen above that of far larger Sydney by the Housing Industry Association of South Australia. Housing Industry Association of South Australian Executive Director Robert Harding attributed the high price of land to government policies that have limited the supply of land available for building. read more »
Hong Kong financial chief John Tsang has promised to expand the city's land supply for residential housing, "in response to rising public anger over soaring property prices and repeated warnings of a looming real estate bubble." Channel News Asia's Hong Kong bureau indicated that the move was precipitated by the "sky-high" housing cost that have been drive by insufficient land for development and speculation (which routinely is intensified where demand for housing is read more »