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Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ, Curtin University School of Economics, Finance and Property Professor
Professor Chris Leishman, University of Adelaide Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning Director
Housing plays many roles in our economy and society, including as a consumable good, investment asset and infrastructure. In recent years an important narrative has emerged in which the housing system generally, and housing outcomes more specifically, are seen as important determinants of economic outcomes and productivity.
This paper offers a brief overview of the economic case for housing and changes to the housing market context since the first wave of the pandemic. Against this context, the effectiveness of the government’s housing stimulus package is critically assessed.
While there are well-known macroeconomic arguments for a housing stimulus package, given the multiplier effect, there are inevitably unintended consequences to large-scale public policy interventions. This paper addresses some of these.
Finally, it puts forward a case for social housing construction and housing tax-transfer reform for supporting long-term recovery in a post-COVID Australia. Thus far, these policy options have featured dimly in both federal and state government roadmaps to recovery.
The reports authors, Professor Rachel Ong ViforJ and Professor Chris Leishman, joined CEDA's Chief Economist, Jarrod Ball to discuss how COVID has changed the conversation around housing policy, housing construction's effectiveness as a stimulus tool, tax reform, and social housing.
Further reading: Housing Australia
Housing trends - including supply and demand issues, and the intergenerational impacts of high housing costs and falling home ownership - were examined in our holistic 2017 review, Housing Australia. Read it here.