Experts say WTF to housing affordability

By Sasha Karen 19 October 2017 | 1 minute read

Housing affordability is a topic that all kinds of property owners have been talking about. A group of experts is hoping to help solve this issue by asking one question: WTF?

housing affordability, investing, property investment

The Australian Futures Project has brought together a number of experts to take on questions from everyday Australians as a part of the What’s the Future, Australia? ideas competition, or WTF Australia, to topics, one of which being housing affordability.

The competition is currently seeking questions from Australians to be answered by a panel of experts in the country’s property industry, aiming to answer as many questions as they can.

Dr Fiona McKenzie, co-founder and director of strategy of the Australian Futures Project, recognised that housing affordability in Australia is a big issue.

“There’s a system that needs intervention, and I think it needs more sophisticated dialogue as well around what’s actually going,” she said.

“Sometimes we can mistake the systems, so what we’re seeing in terms of price rises, for the solution, and that’s actually not the case.”

Investors, she said, play a vital role in the housing affordability discussion, and she believes while they may have some small part in the current property climate, more investors are needed to help assist the problem, not less.

“They’re a part of the solution as well as the setting at the moment might be part of the problem, but I don’t think we would want investors to disappear,” Dr McKenzie explained.

With WTF Australia, Dr McKenzie wants to help fix what she sees as a disconnect.

“There’s a disconnect between what’s going on in policy circles and expert circles and what might be going on and the conversations at the dining table, so we’re really trying to collect those up,” Dr McKenzie said.

In addition to answering questions, WTF Australia is also accepting ideas from Australians who believe they have an answer to one of the four topics, the competition component.

The idea of the week can receive a $500 prize, and the opportunity to see their ideas realised through further support.

“There’s the opportunity for people to submit ideas, potentially see those ideas turn into action as we look to match them up with organisations that can help make them happen,” Dr McKenzie said.

The experts on the housing affordability topic are:

  • David Briggs, managing director of Galaxy Research
  • Nerida Conisbee, chief economist of REA Group
  • Michael Lennon, managing director of Housing Choices Australia
  • Chris Martin, research fellow housing policy and practice of City Futures Research Centre UNSW
  • Ken Morrison, CEO of the Property Council of Australia
  • Peter Phibbs, head of urban and regional planning and policy of the University of Sydney
  • Adrian Pisarski, executive officer of National Shelter

If investors want their questions on housing affordability answered by one of the other experts, WTF Australia is accepting questions via email at [email protected], Facebook, Twitter, or SMS at 0488 805 605. More details are available on the WTF Australia website until 23 October, 5PM.

The other three areas addressed by WTF Australia are energy crisis, future of work, thriving kids, and housing affordability.



Affordability refers to a product or service that is inexpensive and accessible for people with limited means.

Housing affordability

Housing affordability refers to the cost of housing that is relative to the disposable income of a renter or buyer.

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Experts say WTF to housing affordability
housing affordability, investing, property investment
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