Economics and finance, Environment & energy, Government and governance | Australia

3 November 2023

Australia’s housing crisis: Housing is one of the biggest drivers of our economy, but it is also at the core of the biggest financial hardships people are facing.

Dr Nicholas Frank lays out why house prices skyrocketed in the 1980s and how the availability of credit became vital for families to survive with rising costs of living.

The consumption aspect of the economy currently depends on the wealth generated by increasing house prices. While this has led to wealth inequality, it has also contributed to rising income inequality. Additionally, it poses environmental concerns, as there is often insufficient regulation in place for emissions in the construction of homes, which further exacerbates the problem.

This episode is the first in a miniseries on Australia’s housing crisis, so stay tuned!


Dr Nicholas Frank is a Research Fellow in the Planetary Health Equity Hothouse in the School of Regulation and Global Governance here at the Australian National University. He has worked with the World Trade Organisation and the OECD. His research focuses on the political economy of trade and investment governance.

Sharon Bessell is a Professor of Public Policy and Director of both the Children’s Policy Centre and the Poverty and Inequality Research Centre at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

Arnagretta Hunter is the Human Futures Fellow at ANU College of Health and Medicine, a cardiologist, physician, and a Senior Clinical Lecturer at ANU Medical School.

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