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Factors Affecting Housing Conditions

Discuss about the relationship between home ownership rates in different countries.

Home ownership rates are established to help improve housing standards for the low-income earners. In this study, our main concern is to determine how different home ownership rates affect housing conditions especially for the low-income earners (Rossini, 2012). The following factors affect housing conditions: economic patterns in a country, government, and political systems, urbanization, cultural conditions among others (Jaffe, 2003). Home ownership rates strategies, can be defined as the principles or assumptions on the home ownership markets that provide information for analysis.

This research compares home ownership rates in Australia and Netherlands. An extensive analysis of the two countries has been done to help identify the effects of the home ownership rates in the two countries and relate their significance (Liu, 2010). Our major concern is to research and debate the rates in the different countries. On debate, we are going to investigate the government’s role in home ownership. Subsidization, regulation and home ownership market substitutions are some of the key areas to look into (Knoppel, 2017). The emphasis will be studying different government strategically policies and how the influence home ownership outcomes. Evaluating home ownership outcomes under different political regimes is also essential to our study. Focusing the long-term consequences of this rates will be the main agenda (Haan, 2015). We analyze the socio-economic impacts of rates towards home ownership. Determining how these rates are similar and the way they are different is also important.

This article will analyze two countries (Australia and Netherlands), with regard to the time period. In this study, both countries are capitalists and depend more on exports (Merwe, 2015). Both countries have low populations and similar demographic traces. They have experienced restructuring in their economies and dynamic adjustments in their social life (Lee, 2009). In the study, though they have comparable economies, demographic patterns, and social lives in different aspects, their home ownership strategies are quite distinct.

In this research we analyze the following key research questions:

  1. How the governments intervened in the home ownership systems in the 1900s to help improve home ownership conditions.
  2. What level are the rates of both countries offering affordable shelter conditions for the low-income earners in the society?

The major reasons as to why comparative methods are used are to describe the similarities and differences between two or more different cases (Fraser, 2015). In this study, this method is used to describe the home ownership rates in two different aspects, with respect to the political, economic and social conditions. Australia and Netherlands are the ideal cases of this study based on their home ownership and welfare studies. The studies, in this case, are generally statistical or numerical. A good comparative analysis will involve studying groups of cities or nations. Comparative analysis provides an in-depth evaluation of the two cases (Smyth, 2006). These studies may also not be important since some information may be ignored especially when the cultural or structural differences appear to be similar.

Comparing Home Ownership Rates in Australia and Netherlands, 1945-1980

In this study, we analyze home ownership policy strategies with regard to different countries, concepts, perspectives and tools of analyzing the data (Rahman, 2008). This helps understand the components and relations between the countries. Additionally, we get to understand the welfare conditions and how they have influenced debate of the home ownership.

Comparing home ownership rates in Australia and the Netherlands, 1945- 1980

In this study, we look at how the home ownership rates of the two countries were affected by different factors. These factors address the following issues:

  • Increased household population with the diverse socio-economic conditions.
  • Technological change and restructuring of the industries and labor conditions.
  • Government responsibilities and roles that involve understanding and controlling privatization of the state assets and functions (Argent, 2011). Understand legislation and regulation.

Some of the social issues that are likely to influence home ownership outcomes and rates will include the following:

  • Increased income levels making people have the capacity to pay for their own housing.
  • Lifestyle changes, needs, and preferences.
  • Changing profiles of households hence need to look for either advanced or poor housing.
  • Care requirements and home ownership needs (Jaffe, 2003).

There was a rapid increase in the population and high household levels that led to an increase in the demand for Homes since the war had just ended (Rahman, 2008). In Netherlands, there was a population increase of 41% from the year 1950 to the year 1980, this was actually the highest rate of population increase in Western Europe. In Australia, the increase was double the Netherland increase in the same time period (Rahman, 2008). The increase was more in the 50s and 60s and leveled by the period's end.  In 1973, the population in Australia exceeded that of Netherlands.

The main reason as to why the population in Australia was expanding adversely was because of the increase in immigration, which was about 50% of the total population growth in the country. In 1947, almost 10% of the people were foreign citizens. This rose to 14% in 1954 and reached almost 21% in 1981. The large increase of immigrants in the 1980s led to urban developments and expansions (Rahman, 2008). The home ownership preferences and behaviors of the immigrants reflected that of the original dwellers of Australia. The dwelling choices and tenures of the foreign population resembled that of the people in the born population.  In the Netherlands, Immigration was not that much since the harsh socio-economic conditions made people migrate out of the country. After the World War II, the Dutch were deported from Indonesia, but that did not consist of many people until in the 70s when people immigrated into the country (Rahman, 2008). In the year 1985, nearly 4.5% of the Dutch population was the foreign population.

The rate of Household formation increased than the growth in population in both countries. The Households in Australia, grew by nearly 151% from 1947 to the year 1981 while the households in Netherlands grew by nearly 134% over the same time (Wilson, 2014). In Netherlands, the higher rates of household formation meant that there was a closer level of Home demand in both countries as suggested by the increased population.

Social Issues That Influence Home Ownership Outcomes and Rates

Factors such as social, economic and demography led to the increased household formation than the population increase in both countries, though effects of the factors were different (Rahman, 2008). Generally, there was a decreased birth rate and due to increased prosperity, the young people considered leaving their homes earlier as compared to the past generations. As time went by, divorce rates increased due to changing economic opportunities for the female gender, increasing their incomes and independence which led to increased rates of household formation. The longer life expectancy also sustained the home ownership demand (Lee, 2009). All the factors led to a drop in the household size. The drop in the household size in Australia was from 3.70 people each household in the year 1947 to 3.10 people each household in the year 1981. In Netherlands, the average drop in household size was 4.70 in 1950 to 3.00 in the year 1980.


There was a shift in the employment conditions and bases of the people. Both countries experienced a majority of people moving from rural lives to building manufacturing centers. Increased urbanization rate was due to the growth. In the year 1980, 88.0% of the Netherland Population lived in the urban regions. In Australia, 86% of the population had started living in urban regions by the year 1976.

In Australia, the states which grew into metropolitan settlements were Sydney and Melbourne. The population share of the major states grew from 54.0% in 1947 to 61.0% in 1976 (Knoppel, 2017). Most immigrants settled in the two cities and this led to an increase from 36.0% to 43% just in those cities alone. The growth led to an increased pressure of home ownership as compared to other regions. In the 70s, land supply issues emerged in Sydney which led to rising of house rates. During that period, other factors such as decreased jobs in the manufacturing sector also influenced Home demands (Jaffe, 2003). Most people were shifting to the service sector, concentrated in the country’s CBD.

In Netherlands, most of the people were located in the West, in an urban region known as Randstad (Jaffe, 2003). The region comprised several old cities such as The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Amsterdam. In this study, the development of the region was not only marked by the expansion but also restructuring of the region. As single households continued increasing so people started moving to the nearby suburban regions. Most of the nearby city neighborhoods were characterized by elderly, single parents, unemployed and disabled people. The suburban was expanding at that time and was mostly characterized by the middle and high-class families (Jaffe, 2003). The local home ownership rates, demographic reformations, and economic adjustments led to various transformations.

Shift in Employment Conditions and Urbanization

In both countries, there was an increase in the single parents, childless couples and the aging population that affected the home ownership conditions (Jaffe, 2003). The disabled and old people have been looked for places to stay. This has reduced the number of people living in households.

The economic settings in Australia and Netherlands were just favorable until in the 70s. They led to high standards of living and increased prosperity (Rossini, 2012).  The gross domestic product rose as time went by and the rate decreased after some time due to economic shortfalls. The mean nominal growth in the GDP was 4% for the period of 1950 to 1985. The per capita income was consistent for both countries.

In Australia, during the 60s and 50s, employment opportunities increased faster as compared to the population. Though this period experienced smaller rates of inflation, mean wages of the male population surpassed inflation and increased the costs of home ownership (Terblanche, 2015). The female gender job participation was also dominant and was around 50% for the years 1964 to 1980. The rate of unemployment was very low.

In the Netherlands, there was restrictions in the wage growths but that ended in the 50s when wage controls started decreasing (Wang, 2010). The female participation was still low only 40% and part-time jobs were more when compared to Australia.

In both countries, it is clear that favorable economic conditions encouraged households increase their expenditure. From 1961 to 1980, there was a 72.0% growth in the home ownership stocks, which was actually the highest percentage achieved in both North America and Europe (Merwe, 2015). There was also a 64.0% increase in the home ownership stocks in Australia in the year 1945 to the year 1981. In both cases, there was still some differences in the dwelling stocks especially the size and partitioning of the houses.


Economic shortfalls in Netherlands, began in the late 1960s. The oil crisis led to a recess in the economy. Unemployment rate, rose from 5.5% to 6.4% in the year 1975 to 1980. Inflation rate increased to 10% which led to increased prices of houses, actually it doubled (Smyth, 2006). The second oil crisis also had quite different effect in the year 1979. The production of house markets fell by 17%in just a year leading to fall in the house prices. Government subsidies also boosted the home ownership sector in that same year but the mean prices of the houses had not yet standardized as that of 1978 until ten years later.

The Economic Settings in Australia and Netherlands

In Australia, economic shortfalls began in the mid-70s and later on in the early 80s though not severe as in the Netherlands. Inflation rate was 17% in the year 1975 which decreased later to 11%. The rate of unemployment was 4% in that same year but again increased to 6.4% later on. There was quite a big similarity in the home ownership sector of Netherlands and Australia since both were deteriorating at that time (Fraser, 2015). The recovery from that period was quite quick as compared to the Netherlands.

These countries both have some similar political alignments. In Australia and Netherlands, both became democratic governments long ago (Karuppannan, 2006). These countries still have slightly different structures in their governments which have an effect on the political powers and the processes of making rates. Some rates may be favorable to the home ownership sectors while others are not favorable. The home ownership interest rates may be controlled by both governments. Taxes have an impact on the home ownership sectors (Argent, 2011). The higher the taxes the high the rates of interests leading to high amounts of the houses.

In Australia, the home ownership responsibility has not yet been indicated in the constitution. The home ownership roles have always shifted from the different government levels (Hansen, 2013). The legislation of rates as always been done by these levels of the government without proper coordination and cooperation. In Netherlands, this is a different case, since both the local and the central governments are active in ensuring home ownership rates are well reviewed. The local government acts as the planner and provider of the resources for the home ownership policy implementation while the central government funds these operations (Martin, 2016). Under the constitution, home ownership is specifically a task for the national government.

In Australia, there is a low payment rent for rent assistance relatively to the levels of rent. This is a very important factor that tries to describe the affordability challenges low-income private renters have. Increased restrictions on accessing public housing with the above factor have led to many low-income earners derive ways to increase informal houses (Haan, 2015). This has led to the displacement of most people from the urban regions. When rent assistance is low, the mean affordability rates are high sometimes due to the income underreporting.

In Netherlands, low affordability is mostly in the non- recipient households. Some factors that help explain the situation in Netherlands will include: some households failing to make applications of allowances due to the recent advancements while others do not use the informal letting schemes such as caravans, boats, and houses (Merwe, 2015). Cases of income underreporting may also occur.

In the 1950s, the private investors had stormed the home ownership markets in Australia and thus the government had to look for means to increase public housing. Several adjustments had to be made in the year 1955 to address this situation (Wang, 2010). In Netherlands, this was quite different since provision of the private home ownership had to be established. Homeownership systems were less established. The home ownership rate was 28% in Netherlands while it was 50% in Australia.                

To establish better comparison analysis, it is essential that we look at the welfare policies and their contributions towards home ownership outcomes (Walteros, 2005). Subsidization and non-cash aids are the ones addressed in this context. The omission of this analysis makes the entire analysis deluded.

From our case studies, it is clear that the two countries have totally contrasting general developments and welfare systems in our study period. Most comparative analyses have indicated that Netherlands spent a huge sum of money on Welfare programs after World War II when compared to Australia, which is always considered a spendthrift (Martin, 2016). This led to increased home ownership in the Netherlands but due to other factors as studied, there was still an increase in the home ownership systems in Australia. This shows that there is a distinct difference in the features of the welfare programs in both countries. In Netherland, there is a mandatory contribution system, benefits and broad access to services (Hansen, 2013). The Australian system is funded by the taxes and is marked by low levels of benefits when compared to the salaries and wages.

From our preceding information, it is clear that home ownership systems was greatly influenced by various factors in that small period (Rossini, 2012). Both countries as indicated before show experienced similar conditions which led to high demand of houses. There was also improved standards in both countries. The above discussions have also pointed out some of the differences in the political structures and welfare programs that are influence the home ownership conditions in the countries. These differences were vital in determining the significance of our study (Smyth, 2006). Subsidization has also been highlighted to help elaborate on how government policies influence home ownership rates.

Though the research is more diverse with several yearly comparisons, it still does not focus on the current home ownership rates in the two countries. The data collected was based on post war period after World War II and the 20th century (Rahman, 2008). This indicates that there are no new trends in the Home ownership rates in the research. Another gap in this research is that it has focused on only two countries, Australia and Netherlands. This does not depict the home ownership rates in other countries. The home ownership rates in the Netherlands does not depict the rates in the other European countries (Merwe, 2015). Another gap is that the research does not indicate all the factors that affect home ownership rates. Only some few factors have been highlighted with some little information.

The research is still vital in comparing home ownership rates in Australia and Netherlands.

Conclusion

All the above items are not new with regard to the home ownership policies. Though, there have been different approaches to evaluating the home ownership rates in the two countries, the impacts of home ownership rates can still be identified. These conclusions, when compared to the studies previously done, indicate that the studies are valid. New findings have been obtained on how to solve increased home ownership rates and help reshape the challenges associated with the affordability of Homes. Researchers, households, and tenants can obtain an insight on how to deal with such kinds of problems. The research offers a lot of information on where the home ownership rates are affordable and the comparisons help in evaluations of the best strategies to deal with increased home ownership rates. There are several ways in which home ownership rates have been analyzed in the study. There is adequate information that has analyzed the various rates of home ownership. In the study, we have dealt with history in the two countries which build on our study and help make evaluations of the study. The findings from the research need to be reevaluated and reviewed thoroughly. Policies and strategies that are essential in improving the home ownership outcomes for low-income earners need to be considered into action. Since there is a lot of home ownership rates that has been learned we need to put our researchers into action.

References

Argent, P. M. (2011). Population growth and change: implications for Australia. Wollongong: University of Wollongong.

Chris Martin, H. P. (2016). Housing policy and the housing system in Australia: an overview. Australia: University of NSW Australia.

Fraser, G. C. (2015). Monetary policy influences in Australian housing markets. International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, 270-275.

Haan, Q. T. (2015). Home prices and long-term equilibrium in the regulated market of the Netherlands. Journal of Housing Studies, 9-16.

Heywood, G. W.-M. (2017). A New Demand-Supply Model to Enable Sustainability in New Australian Housing. Melbourne: Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne.

Jaffe, L. M. (2003). Determinants of International Home Ownership Rates. Massachusetts: Center for Real Estate, Massachusetts.

Karuppannan, S. (2006). Population Change and Internal Migration in Australia. Adelaide: Barbara Hardy Institute.

Klaus Georg Hansen, S. B. (2013). Urbanization and the role of housing in the present development process in the Arctic. Nordregio: Nordic Centre for Spatial Development.

Knoppel, A. L. (2017). Amsterdam Home price ripple effects in The Netherlands. Journal of European Real Estate Research, 332-337.

Lee, C. L. (2009). Housing Price Volatility and its Determinants . Sydney: Pacific Rim Real Estate Society Conference .

Liu, J. L. (2010). Impacts of Monetary Policies on Housing Affordability in Australia. Australia: Deakin University.

Merwe, M. K. (2015, September 3). Long-run Trends in Housing Price Growth. Retrieved from www.rba.gov.au: https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2015/sep/pdf/bu-0915-3.pdf

Otto, E. G. (2010). Supply Elasticity in the Sydney Housing Market. Sydney: School of Economics UNSW.

Rahman, M. M. (2008). Australian Housing Market: Causes and Effects of Rising Price. Queensland: University of Southern.

Rossini, V. K. (2012). Identifying Home Ownership Rates for Female Households in Australia. Adelaide: Annual PRRES Conference, Adelaide.

Smyth, A. V. (2006). Self-exciting effects of Home prices on unit prices in Australian capital cities. SAGE Journals, 2376-2394.

Terblanche, W. (2015). Population Estimates and Projections for Australia’s Very Elderly Population at State and National level. Queensland: University of Queensland in 2015.

Walteros, C. V. (2005). Analysis of demand and supply in the Colombian housing market: impacts and influences 2005-2016. International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, 152-159.

Wang, P. T. (2010, December). What Drives House Prices in Australia? A Cross-Country Approach. Retrieved from www.imf.org: https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2010/wp10291.pdf

Wilson, T. (2014). New Population and Life Expectancy Estimates for the Indigenous Population of Australia's Northern Territory, 1966–2011. San Francisco: Public Library of Science.

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