Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The ups and downs of house prices

While I'm on a roll with (mis)statements from the Member for Cairns it was also noted that rising house prices were among his positive economic indicators. When challenged on this and the related issue of rising rentals his FB response included:
According to the latest Census data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 57% of homes in Cairns are owner occupied or are people paying off a mortgage, compared to 39% who are renting. So the majority of people in Cairns will benefit from rising house prices.
These are indeed the (rounded) numbers for the Cairns Regional Council area from the 2011 census. I wonder what happens when we look more specifically at the same data for the state electorate of Cairns?
Owners: 47.8%
Renters: 48.1% 
Oops! Looks like most of those 'winners' are more likely to be in Mulgrave or Barron River?

I wont delve into debate on the general desirability or otherwise of rising house and more particularly land prices, or how this may relate to circumstances in Cairns. There is currently a parliamentary inquiry into affordable housing with a range of submissions. Contributions from people such as Saul Eslake and Catherine Cashmore should be worth a browse among others. The submission from The Australia Institute makes particular note of the impact of housing prices on inequality. 

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