The housing economics Research Program at Curtin Business School applies economic theory and modelling to current issues in housing markets, and aims to understand the impact of macroeconomic variables and government policy on housing supply and demand.
This research emerges directly from, and applies directly to, one of Australia’s most pressing economic and social concerns, making it a challenging and relevant field for current researchers and prospective higher degree by research students.
A key area of research in this program is housing affordability, with a number of projects aiming to better understand supply and demand in efforts to aid the long-term goal of delivering affordable housing for Australians. In this regard, policy review and change is a key driver for much of the work done by this research group.
Using advanced modelling techniques, researchers are undertaking housing policy simulation that can project housing outcomes under different policy scenarios. Their work considers a host of different factors – from first home buyer subsidies, means testing, stamp duty and land taxes, to open space, crime patterns and the viability of the resources sector – that can affect the housing market.
Another area of research is exploring the impacts of housing quality on socio-economic well being. This includes reviewing, for example, new financial products that assist older retires to access their housing asset, as well as the impacts of housing quality on children’s well being and future prospects.
Other research projects are focusing on topics such as the private rental market and not-for-profit sector housing provision.
Economists in this area work closely with urban development, town planning and land supply groups. They also collaborate with the State Government, with industry bodies such as the Housing Industry Association, with not-for-profit housing groups and with the private sector.
Through the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute’s (AHURI) Curtin Research Centre, CBS researchers have forged strong links with other housing researchers across Australia and the housing and planning policy community. AHURI is a federal and State funded network of nine Australian universities and funds policy-relevant research directly informing national policy development.