Measurement of house price bubbles: A case in Sydney

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings from the PRRES Conference - 2015, 2015, pp. 1 - 14
Issue Date:
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Recent debates have been focusing on whether there is a housing-price bubble in Sydney. The Median Multiple (median house price divided by gross annual median household income) for Sydney is nine times, compared to 6.2 times in New York and 7.3 times in London (Demographia, 2014). The median price of an established home in Sydney has now reached $811,837, i.e., 17 per cent increase in the year to June 2014 (APM, 2014). A US economist and demographer (Dent, 2014), predicts that Australia’s property prices could drop by as much as 50 percent in the coming years. In contrast, others believe that the Sydney housing price will not fall dramatically. Real estate markets play an important role in the overall economy. The unsustainable housing prices greatly impact on the banking industry, distort consumer confidence and induce collapse or instability into the normal economic activities. Changes in housing prices are caused by the fundamental factors of demand and supply. An unsustainable bubble exists when ‘fundamental’ factors do not seem to be justified; i.e., the high prices today are caused by investors who believe that the selling price is higher tomorrow. This research analyses the Sydney housing price performances over the last ten years and compares the local rentals and income to detect indicators which lead to overheating in the housing market. The analysis will contribute to the prediction of house price trends for the future and assist government to formulate relevant housing policies.
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