Jun 18, 2023Liked by Cameron Murray

So is this the time to start preparing for a campaign "Rising house price - never again"?

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Without consideration and stating the perceived factors driving property markets today and noting what differences exist, all you've done is trust a correlation that may reflect causation. Moreover, housing construction for some markets e.g. the US "...fixed residential investment is one of the most periodic economic time series...Substantial lags between planning and completion phases of housing construction cause housing investment to respond cyclically to exogenous shocks in demand and production costs" [Lee, G.S. Housing cycles and the period of production. Applied Economics, 1999, 31, 1219–123] describes a structural characteristic of the housing market.

Doesn't mean you're wrong, as it doesn't mean you're right.

For example, what has been the driving force of rising property prices in Tasmania? Is it merely levelling/spillover from mainland holders of capital or is there a climate change haven mentality. How to measure that when its ad hoc comment.

Did Victoria's spoke and hub railway network unlike the individual port to hinterland developments in other States over-aggregate how returns were calculated and their subsequent impact on land development.

Historically would you compare as analogy the dotcom bubble 1.0 akin to railway investment then? And if it's cyclic behaviour or trends that are reproducible is it parochial only to consider Australia or should other economies be added for consideration. Canada with its State based primal cities like Australia and composition of a nat res based economy "Spring 2023 increasingly looks like the turnaround point for Canada's housing market after a year-long slump. Average home prices were expected to rise about 2% and 4% in 2024 and 2025."

The factors are myriad, periodicity built in even non-linearly*, and your historical reference is well worth exploring. On the other hand economics is replete with commentators and economists finding validation with decline and contraction in prices and markets - because there will always be one. And that statement in itself is anathema as a critique since forecasting is debatable as a test of one's economic acumen.

*An excellent paper from another angle is Dieci, R. and Westerhoff, F. Heterogeneous expectations, boom-bust housing cycles, and supply conditions: A nonlinear economic dynamics approach. August 2016. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 71.

"The simplicity of the model by Dieci and Westerhoff (2016), formally equivalent to a two-dimensional nonlinear map, allows deep analytical insights into the intricate interplay between real and speculative forces. Moreover, simulations reveal that their model is able to generate cyclical housing market dynamics with lasting periods of overvaluation and overbuilding, as observed in many real housing markets..."

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John Menadue was Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, Ambassador to Japan, Secretary of the Department of Immigration and CEO of Qantas.

He has this to say:

Housing is not a commodity or a market transaction. It is where we develop as members of a family and community.

The second principle is that housing must be part of a neighbourhood.

We are more than individuals linked by market transactions. Meaning in life comes from relationships both personal and communal. Our life in the public sphere is no less necessary than our private lives. As citizens we engage and contribute to the common good. It is in communities and neighbourhoods that we learn respect for others. It is where we abide by shared rules of civic contact. It is where we build social capital, networks of trust with our neighbours. We need to behave in ways that make us trusted members of our neighbourhood.

Unfortunately many housing developments are sterile and hostile to the building of strong neighbourhoods. They promote exclusion rather than inclusion. Ugly shopping malls instead of local shops. More and more of our physical and metamorphic space is being enclosed by the market. This alienation from neighbours takes many forms in gated enclaves — high walls, roller doors, CCTV cameras, private entertainment, which all have the consequence of avoiding contact with neighbours and hinder the development of community. Good housing policy should be about building strong and vibrant neighbourhoods and not just isolated houses or units.

The third important housing principle should be the promotion of social mixing and sharing. It should be a basic requirement of good housing policy to avoid stratification or ghettos whether on the basis of income, employment, religion or other grounds.

During the Covid pandemic we have seen again the importance of public spaces and the social mixing of individuals, children, families and groups sharing our public parks and gardens. It is a real pleasure to see it. Those public spaces must be protected and enhanced. Unfortunately conservatives governments have given access to these public spaces to developers. For example public parks are deliberately underfunded and we are told that access to iconic beauty spots can only be maintained with money from private developers, the new squatters on public land

Our health service increasingly discourages social mixing through the massive $12 billion-a-year subsidising of private health insurance which is separating out services for the more wealthy. Our schools are becoming more stratified with wealthy parents aided by enormous government subsidies, sending their children to separate private schools.Many private schools have become commodities rather than communities, where parents contract out their responsibilities to the school.

Housing policy and programs must support social mixing through for example setting minimum and substantial levels of social inclusion in all major new developments.

In the post-war years, there was always a senior Commonwealth minister as minister for housing. That is no longer the case. We need to reassert appointment of a senior minister as minister for housing along with ministers for education and health.

Appropriate housing, education and health facilities are important human rights for everyone.

Housing policies and programs must be anchored in key principles; use value and not exchange value; building communities and neighbourhoods and social mixing and sharing.

From https://johnmenadue.com/john-menadue-housing-should-be-for-use-value-not-exchange-value/

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