27 June 2018

Housing tax reform: what difference will it make?

This presentation to the NSW Affordable Housing Conference identifies the tax reforms that will (and won’t) make a real difference to housing affordability. Changes to capital gains tax, negative gearing, stamp duty and land tax would all help. But boosting the supply of housing matters more in the long term.

8 June 2018

Four myths about income tax

When income tax scales change, it’s inherently a question of redistribution. Any change to tax rates is a decision about who should bear less — or more — of the tax burden. And because of bracket creep, any decision not to change tax rates is also a decision to shift the tax burden.

7 June 2018

Most new housing isn’t high end housing

The conventional wisdom among many affordable-housing advocates is that most new housing built in Australia is too expensive for low- and middle-income earners. This conventional wisdom is wrong. Grattan Institute’s new analysis shows that most new houses are being built in cheaper-than-average suburbs on the fringes on our major cities.

22 May 2018

We can’t begin to fix our housing crisis until our leaders start levelling with the public

Governments at both Federal and State level are still avoiding the politically difficult changes that would make a real difference to housing affordability. But we won’t make progress unless our leaders eschew the popular but ineffective options in favour of planning and tax reforms that could actually improve affordability.

14 May 2018

Will the banking royal commission push down property prices?

The Financial Services Royal Commission has exposed some irresponsible lending by Australia’s biggest banks. Some of the revelations from the commission have affected certain banks’ share prices but not their profits. The question is whether the information brought to light by the commission will further push down property prices?

3 May 2018

The nuanced story of regional inequality in Australia

The idea that regional Australia has been ‘left behind’ by the big cities is widespread, and politically potent. There is some truth to the sentiment, but it’s important to recognise the nuance behind the concern, write Grattan Institute’s Danielle Wood, John Daley and Carmela Chivers in this submission to a Senate committee inquiry.

29 April 2018

Not so super

Australia has got superannuation policy wrong. The bipartisan plan to increase compulsory super contributions to 12 per cent will reduce wages today, do little to boost the retirement incomes of many low-income workers, and cost the federal budget billions now and well into the future. If politicians really want to help low-income earners, the planned increases should be scrapped.

18 April 2018

Are there hidden costs to high immigration?

Australia is more defined by migration than almost any other country. One in four Australians wasn’t born here; one in two has a parent born overseas.
But public concern about this migration is growing. More people are asking whether you can have too much of a good thing.

16 April 2018

Look beyond Super to close the gender retirement gap

Australia has a persistent gender gap in retirement savings and incomes. Men’s superannuation balances at retirement are on average twice as large as women’s. Men also have much larger non-superannuation savings. This means that women – particularly single, divorced or widowed women – are at greater risk of poverty, housing stress and homelessness in retirement.

5 April 2018

How investment property returns depend on politics

Australian housing has been a good investment with prices more than doubling in real terms over the past 20 years. Since 2012, house prices have risen 50% in Melbourne and 70% in Sydney. Our recent report, Housing affordability: re-imagining the Australian dream, investigated the trends.