Submission to Senate Economics References Committee, An Inquiry in to Affordable Housing

Bryant, Lyndall (2014) Submission to Senate Economics References Committee, An Inquiry in to Affordable Housing. Submission No. 226. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Developer paid fees or infrastructure charges are a commonly used mechanism for local governments to pay for new infrastructure. However, property developers claim that these costs are merely passed on to home buyers, with adverse effects to housing affordability. Despite numerous government reports and many years of industry advocacy, there remains no empirical evidence in Australia to confirm or quantify this passing on effect to home buyers and the consequent effect on housing affordability. Hence there remains no data from which governments can base policy decision on, and the debate continues.

This research examines the question of the impact of infrastructure charges on housing affordability in Australia. It employs hedonic regression methods to estimate the impact of infrastructure charges on house prices and vacant lot prices in Brisbane, Australia during 2005-2011, using a data set of 29,752 house sales, comprising 4,699 new house sales and 25,053 existing house sales and 13,739 lot sales. The regression results for the effect of infrastructure charges on house prices in Brisbane indicated that for every $1.00 of infrastructure charge levied on developers, all house prices increase by $3.69 or a 369% overpassing of these government levies onto home buyers. Thus, this one government levy could be responsible for $877 per month on home owner mortgage repayments in Brisbane, Queensland.

This research is consistent with international findings, that support the proposition that developer paid infrastructure charges are passed on to home buyers and are a significant contributor to increasing house prices and reduced housing affordability. Understanding who really pays for urban infrastructure is critical to both the housing affordability and infrastructure funding debates in Australia and this research provides the first empirical data for policy makers to assess their policy objectives and outcomes against.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 87039
Item Type: Other
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Infrastructure charges, Housing affordability, Hedonic house price model, Housing supply
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Urban Analysis and Development (120507)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > COMMERCIAL SERVICES (150400) > Real Estate and Valuation Services (150403)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 31 Aug 2015 02:34
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015 02:34

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