urban sprawl

Immigrant demand denying Australia's Gen-Y of urban housing

A SENIOR Treasury official has sounded the alarm over Australia's property market. He has warned that the prospect of a sudden and dramatic drop in prices is "the elephant in the room" and should not be ignored by the federal government. [Source: by Sean Parnell, FOI editor, The Australian, 20th November 2010] While the government and Reserve Bank insist Australia does not have a housing bubble - as some economists and the International Monetary Fund suggest - it remains such a worrying concept that Treasury has privately sought reassurance from its analysts that prices are not artificially high and that Australia does not face the kind of house price collapse that has hit Britain and the US. Documents obtained by The Weekend Australian under Freedom of Information laws show the Treasury officials preparing the so-called Red Book of briefs for the incoming government were as divided as private sector economists about the strength of the property market. Phil Garton, the manager of Treasury's Macro Financial Linkages Unit, sent colleagues a draft paper on the rise in household debt, prospects for further growth in the debt-to-income ratio and the potential implications of slower household debt growth.