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Housing affordability: Proper Measurement for Informed Policy Making

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  • Gennadi Kazakevitch
  • Luc Borrowman

Abstract

The broadly accepted housing affordability indicator is calculated as the housing cost-to income ratio. But this only takes into consideration two averaged variables: household housing costs and household income, both of which are ambiguous and misleading as an across-the- board average. An alternative system of housing affordability measurement is suggested in this paper based on disposable income left after accounting for housing expenses. In contrary to the broadly used conventional indicator, the proposed measurement takes into account different income groups, ages and types of households as well as the level of housing consumption. This indicator, combined with the "after housing poverty line" allows for the singling out of groups of households most in need of housing help, and therefore develop more informed housing polices. Based on the proposed system of measurement, an extensive empirical work is presented using the series of the ABS Income and Housing Surveys. The results demonstrate, from a new angle, the dynamics of housing affordability in Australia during the recent decade which leads to policy implications different to polices currently in use.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Monash Economics Working Papers with number 08-09.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2009-08

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Keywords: Housing affordability measurement; income after housing costs.;

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, . "The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 395, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Shelly Lundberg & Jennifer Ward-Batts, 2000. "Saving for Retirement: Household Bargaining and Household Net Worth," Working Papers 0026, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  3. B. Douglas Bernheim & Lorenzo Forni & Jagadeesh Gokhale & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 2000. "How much should Americans be saving for retirement?," Working Paper 0002, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  4. Donald R. Haurin & Susan M. Wachter & Patric H. Hendershott, 1995. "Wealth Accumulation and Housing Choices of Young Households: An Exploratory Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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