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House Prices in Australia - 1970 to 2003 - Facts and Explanations


  • Peter Abelson

    () (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)

  • Roselyne Joyeux

    (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)

  • George Milunovich

    (Department of Economics, Macquarie University)

  • Demi Chung

    (Department of Accounting and Finance, Macquarie University)


This paper describes and explains changes in real house prices in Australia from 1970 to 2003. In the first part of the paper, we develop a national index of real house prices. We then discuss the main factors that determine real house prices and some previous attempts to model Australian house prices. We develop and estimate a long-run equilibrium model that shows the real economic determinants of house prices and a short-run asymmetric error correction model to represent house price changes in the short run. Consistent with economic theory, we find that in the long run real house prices are related significantly and positively to real income and to the rate of inflation as represented by the consumer price index. They are also related significantly and negatively to the unemployment rate, mortgage rates, equity prices, and the housing stock. Employing our short-run asymmetric error correction model, we find that there are significant lags in adjustment to equilibrium. When real house prices are rising at more than 2 per cent per annum the housing market adjusts to equilibrium in four quarters. When real house prices are static or falling, the adjustment process takes six quarters.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Abelson & Roselyne Joyeux & George Milunovich & Demi Chung, 2005. "House Prices in Australia - 1970 to 2003 - Facts and Explanations," Research Papers 0504, Macquarie University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mac:wpaper:0504

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce Chapman, 2001. "Australian Higher Education Financing: Issues for Reform," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 34(2), pages 195-204.
    2. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    3. Avkiran, Necmi K., 2001. "Investigating technical and scale efficiencies of Australian Universities through data envelopment analysis," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-80, March.
    4. Throsby, C D, 1986. "Cost Functions for Australian Universities," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(47), pages 175-192, December.
    5. Simon Marginson, 2001. "Trends in the Funding of Australian Higher Education," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 34(2), pages 205-215.
    6. Peter Abelson, 2005. "Surveying University Student Standards In Economics," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 24(2), pages 116-132, June.
    7. Hay, Donald A & Liu, Guy S, 1997. "The Efficiency of Firms: What Difference Does Competition Make?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 597-617, May.
    8. Stephen P. King, 2001. "The Funding of Higher Education in Australia: Overview and Alternatives," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 34(2), pages 190-194.
    9. Abbott, M. & Doucouliagos, C., 2003. "The efficiency of Australian universities: a data envelopment analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 89-97, February.
    10. Melville L. McMillan & Debasish Datta, 1998. "The Relative Efficiencies of Canadian Universities: A DEA Perspective," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 24(4), pages 485-511, December.
    11. Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Sickles, Robin C., 1990. "Production frontiers with cross-sectional and time-series variation in efficiency levels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 185-200.
    12. Roger Carrington & Tim Coelli & D. S. Prasada Rao, 2005. "The Performance Of Australian Universities: Conceptual Issues And Preliminary Results," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 24(2), pages 145-163, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shengzu Wang & Patrizia Tumbarello, 2010. "What Drives House Prices in Australia? A+L4584 Cross-Country Approach," IMF Working Papers 10/291, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Hrushikesh MALLICK, 2011. "Monetary Policy, Construction Sector Output and Housing Prices in India: An Emerging Economy Perspective," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(1).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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