Housing affordability workshop

For any Canberrans interested in the hot topic of housing prices, we’re running an event on Monday afternoon that may be of interest. Speakers are Brian Howe, Stephen King, and Rob Taunton. Details over the fold.

Monday 30 June 2008, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Seminar Room A, Coombs Building, ANU
Workshop on Housing Affordability

Brian Howe (Public Policy, University of Melbourne). Former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister for Health, Housing & Community Services

Stephen King (ACCC & Economics, University of Melbourne). Author – with Joshua Gans – of Finishing the Job: Real-world Policy Solutions in Health, Housing, Education & Transport.

Rob Taunton (NATSEM, University of Canberra). Author of Wherever I lay my debt, that’s my home, accessible at http://www.canberra.edu.au/centres/natsem/

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3 Responses to Housing affordability workshop

  1. Mich says:


    Will anyone from industry be speaking / attending? Coal face input would add value to the debate.


  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    We’d welcome their attendance and to have them as part of the discussion, but as you can see, we haven’t put any industry reps on the program.

  3. Patrick says:

    I made this comment on clubtroppo this morning:

    On housing, I was discussing this with my father the other day. His interest (in this context) is homelessness, whereas I have some professional exposure to a couple of large builders.

    The starting point was that the problem of homelessness was partly one of capacity – evidently if housing stock is less than the demanders of housing stock there will be homelessness.

    His thoughts were that a combination of market failure and planning rules were at fault.

    I found it hard to believe that there could be a demand for housing which was not being met, at first (anyone doubt my à prioris?).

    My wife suggested that there was simply too much higher-margin building to bother with lower margin building.

    My doubts persisted, until I recalled an earlier comment about immigration. Logically, if everyone who can nail two planks together twice in a row is already building houses, then the sector will not expand to met demand. This is not readily met by the types of government action typically envisaged, although it would be readily met by making lower-margin building higher-margin through subsidies. I don’t consider this an obviously appealing approach.

    Further evidence, as I see it, for the idea that immigration is the last frontier of globalisation. I did note, of course, that immigration increases demand on housing stock!

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