Housing bubble debate: Dwelling shortage may not be as bad as believed

ABC News – 6 November, 2014

By Michael Janda

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-04/housing-bubble-debate-dwelling-shortage-not-as-bad-as-believed/5864714

The long running Australian housing bubble debate has heated up this year, as prices in the nation’s two key markets jump and housing investment debt grows at its fastest rate since before the financial crisis.

Those who believe there is, or may be, a bubble (your humble correspondent included) point to figures from respected international bodies such as the Bank for International Settlements and International Monetary Fund which show Australia ranks near the top of all common measures of housing costs.

Such figures, and other domestic data, show Australian housing has been vastly more expensive over the past decade than it has been at any point since reliable data began.

Those who argue against there being a bubble often point out that Australia’s dwelling price to income ratio has largely gone nowhere over the past 10 years.

They also point out that real house prices (that is after general consumer price inflation has been taken out) have also remained fairly static.

The more simplistic argument around these statistics is that bubbles can’t stay inflated for a decade – if it existed it would’ve blown up by now.

Australian dwelling price to income ratio

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