Macro drivers of Australian housing affordability, 1985-2010 An autoregressive distributed lag approach
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Purpose - Model the drivers of Australian housing affordability and forecast equilibrium affordability. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach - Uses autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach to model housing affordability measured by the Housing Industry Association's Housing Affordability Index (HAI) and the housing price-earnings multiplier (HPE). Six sets of explanatory variables, including housing finance, housing construction activity and costs, economic growth, population, alternative investments and taxation. Findings - Primary long-run drivers are housing finance, dwelling approvals and financial assets. Economic and population growth only have a short-run influence, while housing taxation has limited impact in long run. Forecasts indicate long-run HAI equilibrium values of 109 (above the historical minimum of 107) and a HPE of seven (below the recent historical maximum of 8.2). Research limitations/implications - Reduced form model encompassing both demand and supply factors involves complicated interpretation given direct and indirect effects on affordability. Analysis at national level ignores regional impacts that may also affect housing affordability. Practical implications - The impact of the low rate of new dwelling approvals (public and private sector in the long run and public sector in the short run) points to a persistent structural gap between the demand and supply of housing. Strong economic and population growth often blamed for the worsening of housing affordability, at least in the 2000s, has no impact at the aggregate national level. Originality/value - Only known paper to provide quantitative estimates of macro drivers of Australian housing affordability over a long period using alternative measures of relative housing affordability.
Studies in Economics and Finance
© 2013 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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