13 March 2018

Rise in protest votes sounds warning bell for major parties

Protest politics is on the rise in Australia. At the 2016 federal election, votes for minor parties hit their highest level since 1949. More than one in four Australians voted for someone other than the Liberals, Nationals, ALP or Greens in the Senate, and more than one in eight did likewise for the House of Representatives.

8 March 2018

RBA research shows that zoning restrictions are driving up housing prices

Zoning and planning rules play an important role in managing the growth of cities and protecting the character of particular neighbourhoods. But as Australia confronts a housing affordability crisis, the question is whether the costs of our planning rules outweigh the benefits.

5 March 2018

How migration affects housing affordability

So much of Australia’s history and success is built on immigration. Migrants have benefited incumbent Australians by raising incomes, increasing innovation, contributing to government budgets, smoothing over population ageing and diversifying our social fabric. But it is also true that immigration is affecting house prices and rents.

5 March 2018

Beware what you wish for Sydney

Two decades ago, then NSW premier Bob Carr famously declared that Sydney was “full”. But more people came anyway. House prices rose. Now, opposition to development is rising again. Unless today’s generation of politicians stares down the NIMBYs, Sydney will repeat the mistakes of the past, and housing affordability will get worse.

4 March 2018

From world’s most liveable city to Australia’s most expensive city?

When it comes to making housing affordable, Melbourne has always done it better than Sydney. Sydney’s geography may be spectacular, but it’s bad for building housing. Ocean to the east, mountains to the west, and the Ku-ring-gai national park to the north limit Sydney’s urban sprawl. Whereas Melbourne can build more – and cheaper – housing on abundant greenfield land closer to the city.

23 February 2018

The conventional wisdom is wrong: building more housing does help low-income earners

The conventional wisdom among many affordable housing advocates is that boosting the supply of market-rent housing won’t help low-income earners. But without more supply for everyone, housing won’t become much more affordable, especially for low-income earners.

9 February 2018

What’s the best way to close the gender gap in retirement incomes?

Australia’s retirement income system is not working for the poorest Australians, who are disproportionately women. The superannuation lobby wants more generous super tax breaks to boost the retirement incomes of women, but this would likely worsen the gender gap.

12 January 2018

There’s no silver bullet when it comes to housing affordability

The debate over negative gearing illustrates a broader problem ignored by many affordable housing advocates. While negative gearing and a number of other housing tax reforms are definitely worth pursuing, they alone won’t solve our housing affordability crisis.

5 December 2017

The prime minister’s book list: what should Malcolm Turnbull read this summer?

It’s been a testing year for politics but a wonderful year for books – and to help the prime minister make the most of the holiday season, the Grattan Institute has once again collated a summer reading list for him.

30 November 2017

Tax reform alone won’t solve the housing affordability crisis

Reducing tax breaks for property investors would improve housing affordability a little. But, as Grattan Fellow Brendan Coates shows in this presentation to the National Housing Conference, it would improve the budget bottom line and boost the economy a lot.

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