Media Release by The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

New Research Sheds Light on Housing Stress

Three research papers presented at an Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) seminar in Melbourne this week have provided important insights into the challenges facing home owners in Australia, Minister for Housing and Homelessness Brendan O’Connor said.

Sustaining home ownership in the 21st Century: emerging policy concerns, by Professor Gavin Wood from RMIT University, looks at the rise in house prices and the different strategies which can be used to ease market pressures.

Mortgage default in Australia: nature, causes and social and economic impacts, by Professor Tony Dalton, also from RMIT, looks at the sources, nature and implications of mortgage default among Australian home owners. It found that independent financial advice for borrowers, particularly those with their first loan, helps reduce mortgage default.

The advantages and disadvantages of home ownership for low-medium income households, by Professor Kath Hulse from Swinburne University of Technology, investigates the different experiences of home ownership for households with different levels of income.

“This research highlights the difficulties as well as the advantages of owning your own home, especially for low to medium income households,” Mr O’Connor said.

“These three papers were produced by AHURI in part to give a better understanding of the impact of housing stress on individuals and families.

“They give us a better picture of the pressures facing Australians, and a better guide for governments, community organisations and the private sector working to address the shortage in supply of affordable and accessible housing.

“The Gillard Government knows that a strong economy is the best way to help people into affordable housing, which is why we have returned the Budget to surplus, and we will continue to work on direct initiatives to assist all Australians.”

The Australian Government has invested more than $1.5 million in the AHURI research, in partnership with states and territories. For more information on this research visit