Global Housing

22

The pitfalls of reverse mortgages

By Leith van Onselen The New York Times has published an interesting article on some of the pitfalls of reverse mortgages, which are exhausting inheritances across America: … a growing number of baby boomers [are] confronting a bitter inheritance: The same loans that were supposed to help their elderly parents stay in their houses are

22

17million reasons rent control is efficient

The case of Herbert Sukenik being paid $17million in 2005 to leave his rent-controlled NYC apartment has been receiving a great deal of attention online recently. At the risk of perpetuating the brilliant viral marketing campaign for Michael Gross’ new book, which is in fact the source of the story, I want to make a

24

Rich Chinese threaten to sue Canada for visa

I noted yesterday that Australia needs to take action to prevent an inflow of Chinese money from pricing Australian youth further out of the housing market. Canada recently took such steps by closing its wealthy investor visa program (that is booming here). Some Chinese millionaires are not happy: A group of wealthy mainlanders has criticised

12

Housing supply determines price volatility

By Leith van Onselen For years I have argued that markets where land/housing supply is unresponsive (inelastic) – via planning constraints or geographical barriers – are far more prone to suffer from more expensive housing, higher house price volatility, and bigger boom and bust cycles than markets where land/housing supply is relatively responsive (elastic) to

32

Max Keiser gives MB a plug

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this week I published an article explaining how Australia’s housing obsession is killing productivity. The article seems to have resonated with the Keiser Report’s Stacey Herbert, who yesterday ran a segment discussing housing’s link to productivity, citing key quotes and charts from my post (video above). For those that are interested

16

Canada blocks foreigners as house prices boom

By Leith van Onselen January’s house price results, released yesterday by Teranet, revealed that Canadian house values continued their upward march, posting a new all-time high after registering 0.4% growth in January, with prices also up 4.5% over the year and 31% above their April 2009 trough: In real terms, Canadian house prices also hit

39

The difference between houses and chickens

By Leith van Onselen For years I have argued that the UK operates world’s worst practice when it comes to housing policy. A key tenet of the UK’s housing malaise is the highly restrictive UK planning system, which has severely limited land supply and forced-up the cost of housing – benefiting those that already own

11

Sharks circle Canadian housing

By Leith van Onselen December’s house price results, released yesterday by Teranet, revealed that Canadian house values rose marginally over the month (+0.1%) to a new record high, with prices also up 3.8% over the year and 30% above their April 2009 trough: In real terms, Canadian house prices also hit a new peak, with

10

Will the Swedes blow-up again?

By Leith van Onselen Sweden’s housing market shares a lot of similarities with Australia. As was the case in Australia, Sweden’s financial system was deregulated in the mid-1980s, which led to a house price boom and then correction as the Swedish economy entered recession in the early-1990s. However, whereas Australia’s banking system was almost brought

5

UK pulls mortgage support as bubble grows

Cross-posted from Martin North’s DFA blog. Overnight the Bank of England announced the termination of their Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme, moving to direct assistance to the small and medium business sector. The FLS was a mechanism to give funding direct to the banks to enable them to lend to borrowers in an attempt to

3

Canadian house prices set another record

By Leith van Onselen October’s house price results released recently by Teranet revealed that Canadian house values rose marginally over the month (+0.1%) to a new record high, with prices also 30% above their April 2009 trough: In real terms, Canadian house prices also hit a new peak, with prices also 20% above their April

13

Ireland cleans up its planning mess

By Leith van Onselen I have written recently how Ireland’s dysfunctional planning system exacerbated its housing bust by granting planning permits too late in response to rising demand, resulting in the hastened building of large numbers of standardised, small, poor quality homes in satellite locations far away from the major cities. According to Quartz, Ireland

57

Rethinking urban growth boundaries

By Leith van Onselen This blog has dedicated significant effort questioning the axioms underpinning Australia’s urban planning system. This system has grown increasingly restrictive as urban growth boundaries (UGBs), minimum targets for ‘brownfield’ development, up-front infrastructure charges, amongst other measures, have been implemented across jurisdictions since the late 1990s/early 2000s. These urban consolidation planning tools

13

Australia can learn from Germany’s rental system

By Catherine Cashmore, a market analyst and journalist with extensive experience in all aspects relating to property acquisition. Follow Catherine on Twitter or via here Blog. Land.  Since history began, it has remained an integral part of the most valuable asset man desired, fought over, possessed and in many cases died for.   Indeed, property rights are

5

How planning exacerbated Ireland’s housing bust

By Leith van Onselen In 2005, the UK’s Policy Exchange released a fascinating research paper describing (amongst other things) Ireland’s dysfunctional urban planning system, whereby the Government granted planning permits too late in response to rising demand, resulting in the building of large numbers of standardised, small, poor quality homes in satellite locations far away

20

Is London housing a boom or a bust?

By Leith van Onselen Earlier this week, FT Alphaville published an article questioning the notion that London housing is in the midst of another boom/bubble, instead arguing that prices may have crashed: London is in the grip of a terrible and deep housing bust that has only just begun to turn. Greater London house prices,

42

Are we witnessing the end of suburbia?

By Leith van Onselen For decades now, an aray of commentators and academics have written-off suburbia, claiming that households are increasingly choosing to live in the inner city in order to be closer to night life and amenities. Planners and governments have also climbed on board, in many instances errecting barriers to contain the urban

37

The urban consolidation end-game

By Leith van Onselen I have written previously how the UK housing system is arguably the worst in the developed world. Thanks to the Town and Country Planning Act 1946, the right to develop has been virtually nationalised and the UK is ruled by NIMBYs. All of the major cities and towns in the UK

2

Bank of England urged to curb mortgage lending

By Leith van Onselen The UK housing market looks to be heating-up once again following the implementation of the government’s “Help-to-Buy” shared equity scheme for first home buyers (FHBs) and the Bank of England’s “Funding-for-Lending” program, which subsidises lenders’ borrowings provided they pass on the loans to households and firms. According to three main housing

91

Australia must look to Texas on housing policy

By Leith van Onselen The New Zealand Initiative last week released a brilliant new report entitled Different Places, Different Means: Why Some Countries Build More Than Others, which provides a comprehensive assessment of housing supply systems in four markets: Britain; Switzerland; Germany; and Texas. As argued by me many times before, the report describes Britain’s

6

Canadian house prices set record as debt grows

By Leith van Onselen The Canadian housing market continues to reach for the stars. After house prices fell for six consecutive months to February 2013, following the introduction of a range of macroprudential controls on high loan-to-value ratio mortgage lending, values have since for six straight months, pushing Canadian housing values to their highest level

45

House prices, interest rates and land supply

Cross-posted with permission from Dr Alan Moran at Catallaxy Files It is astonishing the disconnect between those looking at housing from the financial market perspective and those of us looking at the regulatory barriers. Christopher Joye in the AFR today discusses a debate he has been having with fellow self-proclaimed housing guru Gerard Minack.  Apparently these

8

NZPC: Growth boundaries push-up land prices

By Leith van Onselen I’ve just come across a New Zealand Productivity Commission research note attempting to quantify the effect of Auckland’s urban growth boundary (called the “Metropolitan Urban Limit” or MUL) on land prices. The results indicate that Auckland’s MUL has significantly increased urban land prices in general, with land prices in the lower part