AUSTRALIA has by far the most overvalued houses in the Western world, with prices 52 per cent higher than justified by rental values, the OECD says.
In a new analysis of the housing boom sweeping developed nations, the OECD also says the price of housing relative to incomes is 50 per cent higher in Australia than in other countries as a group.
Well, there it is, in black and white, from an OECD study... No wonder everyone's so tense and surly...
In the meantime, governments refuse to do anything about it, PM John Howard says 'none of my constituents complain when their house values go up' and outfits like the Centre for Affordable Housing in NSW cannot produce a single outcome in the form of an affordable house, and the Australian Financial Review points out that the NSW government absolutely relies on stamp duty revenues from over-priced housing to stay in the black... Doesn't look good, does it?
The REI, spruikers and shonky real estate agents should be held to account as criminals for continually talking up the market and making the next generation suffer for their short-term profits. Not to mention what will happen when Sydney gets too hot to live in (see 'Heat is on' below) and the baby boomers die off in the next 10-20 years leaving loads of empty houses in a population vacuum. But politicians never think outside of the next 3-year window of electoral opportunity, so what do they care?
PDF OECD housing price developments
PDF Measuring housing stress
KENNETH DAVIDSON Heat is on
YOUR SAY House prices