Australians are not alone in their concerns about housing affordability. The Festival of Urbanism's Panel discussion on "Housing Markets, the GFC and city planning" on Monday 27 October attracted lots of interest. Luci Ellis, Head of Financial Stability at the Reserve Bank, and Professor Mike Berry of RMIT (author of "The Affluent Society Revisited") were joined by international experts Professor Christine Whitehead (London School of Economics), Professor Kirk McClure (Kansas State University) and Dr Michelle Norris (University College London).
What goes up does not necessarily go down in the US, according to Professor McClure - despite a "huge overhang" of residential construction, rents continue to rise. Affordability tops the list of political concerns in the UK, especially London. Professor Whitehead lamented the fact that while 80% of adults want to be owner-occupiers, large numbers can't see how they can ever achieve that. And Ireland is attempting to deal with a legacy of "ghost estates" in parts of the country – sometimes by demolishing them.