IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

City Sizes, Housing Costs, and Wealth

  • Luci Ellis

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

  • Dan Andrews

    (Reserve Bank of Australia)

Australia’s household sector appears to hold a greater proportion of its wealth in dwellings than do households in other countries. Average dwelling prices in Australia also appear to be high relative to household income, but dwellings in Australia are not noticeably higher in quality than those in comparable countries. This concentration of wealth in housing also does not seem attributable to government policies that encourage dwelling investment in Australia to a greater extent than is true overseas. A possible reconciliation of this pattern may be the unusual concentration of Australia’s population in two large cities. Average housing prices tend to be higher in larger cities than smaller ones. Therefore, the expensive cities in Australia drag up the average level of dwelling prices more than in other countries, resulting in a higher share of wealth concentrated in housing. The increasing importance of dwelling wealth in Australia over recent years largely reflects the consequences of disinflation and financial deregulation. This is most likely a transitional effect, and the ratio of dwelling wealth to income should stabilise, or begin to grow more slowly, in the future.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp2001-08.

in new window

Date of creation: Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2001-08
Contact details of provider: Postal:
GPO Box 3947, Sydney NSW 2001

Phone: 61-2-9551-8111
Fax: 61-2-9551-8000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  2. Paul Mylonas & Sebastian Schich & Gert Wehinger, 2000. "A Changing Financial Environment and the Implications for Monetary Policy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 243, OECD Publishing.
  3. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
  4. Alberto F. Ades & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227.
  5. Muellbauer, John, 1992. "Anglo-German differences in housing market dynamics : The role of institutions and macro economic policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 539-548, April.
  6. Kamecke, Ulrich, 1990. "Testing the rank size rule hypothesis with an efficient estimator," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 222-231, March.
  7. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
  8. Henderson, J V, 1974. "The Sizes and Types of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 640-56, September.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw & David N. Weil, 1988. "The Baby Boom, The Baby Bust, and the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 2794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bourassa, S.C. & Hoelsi, M., 1999. "The Structure of Housing Submarkets in a Metropolitain Region," Papers 99.15, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Universite de Geneve-.
  11. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
  12. Duca, John V. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1994. "Borrowing constraints and access to owner-occupied housing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-322, June.
  13. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Of hype and hyperbolas : introducing the new economic geography," Working Papers 200019, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  14. Smith, Lawrence B & Rosen, Kenneth T & Fallis, George, 1988. "Recent Developments in Economic Models of Housing Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 29-64, March.
  15. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp2001-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paula Drew)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.