Monday, December 12, 2011

The Inequalities that Result from Government Policy to Inflate House Prices

A little cry in the wilderness here.

Why falling house prices aren’t the calamity the media would have you believe
By contrast, those households living in rental accommodation are subsidised by $3.2 billion. For individual homeowners this subsidy amounts to around $8,000 per year, investors are subsidised by $4,000 while concessions to private renters amount to just $1300 per household and public housing tenants $1000 per year.

Recent analysis published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that the median net wealth of households who rent in 2009 was just $55,265 whilst householders who own their home but are paying off a mortgage had a median net wealth of $487,183. Those homeowners who own their property outright had a median net wealth of $737,394 – 13 times greater than the median wealth of those who rent.

It is an uncomfortable truth that government policies have been instrumental in maintaining housing inequality. The current taxation arrangements serve the interests of homeowners and rental investors, and politicians are reluctant to advocate reforms that might damage their electoral prospects.

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