The Stage 1 research on Making Better Economic Cases for Housing Policies (Maclennan et al, 2018) examined how a range of outcomes in Sydney's and Melbourne’s housing markets, including price, location and quality effects, may have a negative feedback effect on productivity and growth in their economies. It stressed that cases presented for new housing policies to address high needs and reduce affordability burdens have seldom made strong arguments for support on the economic grounds of enhancing growth and productivity.
This is changing. In Australia and elsewhere there is a growing debate on housing being treated as a form of productive infrastructure. This makes a case for housing construction to be classed as infrastructure investment, akin to investment in transport links, water and communications.
More evidence is therefore needed on how housing affects the economy. This ground-breaking project addresses and begin to fill the gap in evidence. It helps to quantify economic cases for housing policies in Australia.
In this second stage of the study, selected housing economy effects identified in the first report have now been subject to econometric modelling. This project has been led by Professor Duncan Maclennan, and also involved SGS Economics & Planning and Cadence Economics, on behalf of a consortium of not-for-profits, government and private sector organisations. The report on the research ‘Strengthening Economic Cases for Housing’ was launched at a seminar on February 25th.