Australia

High Density and Sustainability

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The proponents of currently fashionable planning doctrines favouring density maintain, among other factors, that high-density planning is more environmentally sustainable. Policies based on these doctrines are being applied in Australian capital cities--- Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and to some extent Darwin and Hobart.

The assumption that high-density is environmentally superior seems to be based on intuition as no proof is provided to support this claim. Rather, considerable evidence is emerging that this is not the case.  read more »

Dwellings in Decline as Demographics Drive Demand

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Rarely has the question of where, why and how people will live, work and play been so important, as the impact of COVID-19 begins to transform the demand and supply equation across the Australian property market.  read more »

The Changes Coming to Australia's Residential Property Market 'After' the Virus

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The COVID-19 virus has taken a hammer to many of the ideas we have about what is normal.

It is obvious now that many things will never be the same.

COVID-19 follows a period of significant change for Australia’s residential property market.  read more »

Back to the Drawing Board?

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The global response to the impact of the Coronavirus seems consistent in at least one respect: everything we previously took for granted is now up for grabs. Long held truisms, established patterns of corporate and individual behaviour, doctrinal teachings, professional articles of faith – nothing is immune from Covid-19 induced change.  read more »

Studying the Wrong Cities Will Lead to Repeating Their Mistakes

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The junket factor must be the only logical criteria by which various industry “study tours” overseas are planned. How else to explain how entirely inappropriate the choices are? The list of cities identified for “study” by Australian development and planning industry bodies reads like the pages of a glossy weekend travel magazine: we’ve seen study tours to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Copenhagen, London, Vancouver and (of course) Portland. The purpose? One recent blurb promises it is “to expand our horizons and bring new ideas back to Aussie shores.”  read more »

Sydney High-Density Planning

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High-density planning policies have become fashionable and Sydney planners are among the most enthusiastic adopters. New South Wales Government authorities claim that high density policies result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (gge), provide improved housing affordability and result in reduced traffic congestion. No evidence has been provided to justify these assertions. Such claims need to be investigated as well as density’s detrimental effect on amenity and quality of life should also be investigated.  read more »

Standard of Living Crisis Evident in New Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

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One of the principal advances of the past two centuries has been the drastic reduction in poverty and the rise of a large middle-class, a process expertly detailed by economists Diedre McClosky and Robert Gordon.  read more »

Australia's China Syndrome

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Australia continues to benefit from China’s rise, though few countries are more threatened by its expanding power. Once closely tied to the British Commonwealth, and later to the United States, the Australian subcontinent, with only 24 million people, now relies on China for one-third of its trade—more than with Japan and the U.S. combined. Australia’s major economic sectors rely on Chinese support; investors poured in $17.4 billion in 2017.   read more »

Affordability, Housing Shortages and the Coming Population Boom

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Housing affordability and dwelling shortages back to centre stage

The combined issues of housing affordability and dwelling shortages are once again emerging as key issues for the property industry, policy makers and the broader community.

Recent cyclical and relatively short-term movements in the property market – where we’ve moved from boom to moderation to a rebound again – have dominated discussion in recent years.  read more »

Stomping On the Suburbs

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Our way of life is a miracle for this kind of world, and … the danger lies in thinking that of it as ‘natural’ and likely to endure without a passionate determination on our part to preserve and defend it.” — W.V. Aughterson, The Australian Way of Life, 1951

For generations, Australia has enjoyed among the highest living standards in the world. The “Australian dream”, embodied largely by owning a single-family home with a small backyard, included well over 70 per cent of households.  read more »