Selected elements of housing affordability impacting otherwise potentially sustainable communities

Garner, Gary O. (2009) Selected elements of housing affordability impacting otherwise potentially sustainable communities. In Proceedings of the 14th International Research Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate, 29-31 October 2009, Nanjing.

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It is widely held that strong relationships exist between housing, economic status, and well being. Therefore, recent events emerging from the United States, culminating in widespread housing stock surpluses in that country and others, threaten to destabilise many aspects related to individuals and community. However, despite global impact, the position of housing demand and supply is not consistent. The Australian position provides a strong contrast whereby continued strong housing demand generally remains a critical issue affecting the socio-economic landscape. Underpinned by strong levels of immigration, and further buoyed by sustained historically low interest rates, increasing income levels, and increased government assistance for first home buyers, this strong housing demand ensures elements related to housing affordability continue to gain prominence. A significant, but less visible factor impacting housing affordability – particularly new housing development – relates to holding costs. These costs are in many ways “hidden” and cannot always be easily identified. Although it is only one contributor, the nature and extent of its impact requires elucidation. In its simplest form, it commences with a calculation of the interest or opportunity cost of land holding. However, there is significantly more complexity for major new developments - particularly greenfield development. Analysis suggests that even small shifts in primary factors impacting holding costs can appreciably affect housing affordability. Those factors of greatest significance not only include interest rates and the rate of inflation, but even less apparent factors such as the regulatory assessment period. These are not just theoretical concepts but real, measurable price drivers. Ultimately, the real impact is felt by the one market segment whom can typically least afford it – new home, first home buyers. They can be easily pushed out of affordability. This paper suggests the stability and sustainability of growing, new communities require this problem to be acknowledged and accurately identified if the well being of such communities is to be achieved.

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ID Code: 27789
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: opportunity cost, Holding cost, planning, assessment period, housing affordability
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > COMMERCIAL SERVICES (150400) > Real Estate and Valuation Services (150403)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Gary O. Garner
Deposited On: 06 Oct 2009 00:17
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2010 14:42

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