Australia has some of the most expensive housing in the world.  Rising rents and prices are putting reasonable housing out of reach of large sections of Australian society.  The CIS is exploring ways to make housing more affordable, in particular by relaxing planning restrictions.

External publications co-authored by CIS staff

The Apartment Shortage: Keaton Jenner and Peter Tulip
A Model of the Australian Housing Market: Trent Saunders and Peter Tulip
The Effect of Zoning on Housing Prices: Ross Kendall and Peter Tulip
Cato Research Brief in Economic Policy No 124: Ross Kendall and Peter Tulip
Is Housing Overvalued?: Ryan Fox and Peter Tulip

Featured Publication


RATIONALISING REGULATION: Helping the economy recover from the corona crisis
Gene Tunny, Ben Scott
23 September 2020 | AP14

Australia’s anachronistic, inconsistent, and excessive regulatory landscape is an area of immense potential for growth-enhancing economic reforms. The regulatory constraints outlined in this paper are impeding business growth and their removal or adjustment would yield large economic benefits. The relaxation of a range of restrictions…

Submission to IPART Review of Social and Affordable Housing Rent Models
Michael Potter
15 May 2017 | CIS Submission

In April, IPART released a draft report into models for setting social and affordable housing rent. The CIS submission on the IPART draft argues for reforms including: All new social housing tenants, and all existing tenants who wish to move, should be provided with informed…

Reforming Social Housing: financing and tenant autonomy
Michael Potter
27 April 2017 | RR25

Around 400,000 Australians live in social housing, which includes public and community housing. This sector is ripe for reform, with many public housing dwellings failing adequacy standards, numerous tenants are dissatisfied and live in housing that is too small or too large for their needs.…

The Age Old Problem of Old Age: Fixing the Pension
Matthew Taylor, Simon Cowan
03 May 2015

In this TARGET 30 Research Report CIS modelling shows that reforming the pension could deliver income gains of more than $5,900 a year to almost 98% of pensioners. These reforms would also reduce the cost of the pension by $14.5 billion a year. “With four…

Eight Housing Affordability Myths
Stephen Kirchner
10 July 2014 | IA146

Australians are conflicted in their attitude to this long-run change in real house prices because they are both investors in housing as an asset class and consumers of housing services. This conflicted attitude on the part of the public is reflected in confused public policies…

Media & Commentary

HomeBuilder package is aimed at generating political gains, not economic ones
Simon Cowan
06 June 2020 | Canberra Times

While we must wait for formal confirmation, it is now clear that Australia will experience two consecutive negative quarters of economic growth and therefore is in a recession. While in…

Big three states splurge on infrastructure
Robert Carling
21 June 2019 | Ideas@TheCentre

With the NSW Treasurer handing down the state’s 2019-20 budget this week, the big three states — which also include Victoria and Queensland — have now tabled their fiscal plans.…

Not a super idea to make saving for deposits hard
Simon Cowan
30 May 2019 | The Australian

Much about the recent election ­result came as something of a surprise, but the central importance of housing policy was not surprising in the least. Home ownership is not merely…

Solutions to the homelessness crisis are within reach but they are being ignored
Carlos d'Abrera
23 January 2019 | The Daily Telegraph

There are real answers to the homelessness crisis we are seeing in Sydney’s CBD and other cities, but those solutions are being ignored in favour of allowing people to spiral…

Saluting the rights and ignoring the risks for the homeless
Carlos d'Abrera
22 December 2018 | QUADRANT

Lendlease Property has announced that part of the proceeds from the sale of every new home and land lot will now be directed to a new philanthropic venture to help…