Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock? We ask this question in a newly released research report. The answer is critically important to both household opportunity and prosperity, and to the management of our largest national asset.
Australians’ wealth is overwhelmingly in our housing. As of late 2016, our housing stock was valued at $6 trillion. That’s nearly double the combined value of ASX capitalisation and superannuation funds.
Clearly, the way the housing sector is managed has huge implications for household prosperity and opportunity. The public debate about high house prices, for example, reveals a gnawing anxiety that the distribution of housing as an asset has shifted too far in favour of a growing class of rentiers rather than households.
Housing also has clear national economic implications. This relates both to its scale as an asset, and to the way it provides shelter for those most in need where that need is clear.
Any misallocation of housing to low-productivity uses is potentially a major drag on the economy. This necessarily requires a wide understanding of productivity.
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