Australian housing’s regulatory price boost not about to end

Global housing consultancy, Demographia, has confirmed what Australians always knew.  Our house prices are extremely high and there is no relief in sight.

In 2016, out of 406 world cities surveyed for housing prices in relation to incomes, Australia is the leader with four cities the top 11 and 8 of the top 20 most highly priced housing markets.

Sydney comes second (after Hong Kong) where it takes 12.2 times the median household income to buy the median priced house.  Sydney’s median priced house now costs north of a million dollars.  Melbourne, where the median house costs 9.5 times the median income, comes eleventh.

Median house price and median household incomes (top 11 markets)

Adelaide and Brisbane are not that much more affordable.

We have a very low cost house building industry and the land developers are also highly competitive.

A fully finished new house (three bedrooms, two garages) costs as little as $150,000.  Preparation of the land with sewerage, local roads, water and other utilities costs around $70,000 per block.  The land itself is mainly used for agriculture and is intrinsically worth maybe $2,000 a block.  Yet that new house in western Sydney costs upward of $700,000.

We don’t have the excuse for our high prices that Hong Kong has with its land shortage – even Sydney hemmed in by national parks has enough land on the outskirts in the county of Cumberland alone to allow an 50 per cent increase the housing stock.  Nor do we have the same population growth pressures on supply of cities like Houston, Dallas and Atlanta.  Not only do those cities have faster growing populations than Australian cities but their house prices relative to incomes are a quarter to a third of Sydney’s.

The data also contradicts the notion that it is Chinese investors boosting prices.  If that were the case the policy response would be to free up the land but in any case the foreign investment is inner city, not the outer suburbs.

Some expenses that turn a western Sydney house/land package costing $250,000 into a house that sells at $700,000 are due to taxes.  But these are mainly attempts by the government to grab some of the price inflation resulting from the shortage of new blocks that their policies create.

Our high cost housing position is earned in the regulatory department.  In this we are the world champions.  The Victorian planning authority has identified over 600 separate approval decisions for a new house in Melbourne.  And that excludes the all-important strangulation of the first stage planning permission, the “release” of land to allow it to be built upon.

The new NSW Premier, Ms Berejiklian, has said the most effective way of tackling housing affordability is to increase supply.  But that does not mean relief is on the way.  Every Minister after Bob Carr (whose Malthusian no-child policy led to a massive shrinkage of new house building) has said the same thing – including the present Victorian Opposition leader Matthew Guy, when he was the Minister in charge.

The fact is that governments have agreed to an ever-growing set of regulations covering everything from phony endangered species to requirements for set-asides for child care, community centres and so on.  These compound the shortage of land created by refusals to allow development outside of some designated growth corridors, which means rationing of land available for housing.  That rationing’s end product is housing that is increasingly out of the budget reach of younger buyers.

Ministers who seek to increase housing supply are doubtless well meaning.  But they inherit a set of laws and a bureaucracy wedded to these and to imposing their own preferred housing development pattern onto the community as a whole.  Until this is tackled root and branch we will not see affordable housing in Australian cities.

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61 Responses to Australian housing’s regulatory price boost not about to end

  1. Stackja

    Voters who accept political solutions should expect problems.

  2. Infidel Tiger

    The answer to this regulation induced problem will of course be further regulations.

    It’s the Australian way.

  3. Any politician who deliberately crashes house prices would probably be strung up from the nearest tree.

  4. John Michelmore

    Alan, right on the money; but governments will do nothing to reduce regulation, that would automatically reduce their income boosted by high land prices induced by reduced availability and regulation.

  5. Gardez Bien

    I have been advising affordable housing policy advisors in the UK. My advice is to work out the required housing supply going back 10 years (tbe Blair immigration wave) and the forward ten years, come up with a number and double it. Say 6 million new homes.

    Here in Australia, I would add getting rid of negative gearing as this feeds into higher prices.

    It’s odd that prices are so high in Adelaide as no one wants to move there.

    Simple.

  6. Roger

    Not to mention high immigration levels.

  7. Ragu

    We have a very low cost house building industry

    No we don’t. A builder costs about $50/ hour, his off-sider around $30/hour

    A fully finished new house (three bedrooms, two garages) costs as little as $150,000. Preparation of the land with sewerage, local roads, water and other utilities costs around $70,000 per block. The land itself is mainly used for agriculture and is intrinsically worth maybe $2,000 a block. Yet that new house in western Sydney costs upward of $700,000.

    A hundred and fifty grand plus the rest, to you, is a bargain? You need your head read because you suffer under a delusion that requires medical treatment.

  8. Bruce

    Anyone who thinks that their primary (or only) residence is an “asset” is an idiot. If it is sold, how much money remaining after all the associated “bills” are paid, will you have to move to better digs in a “nicer” environment?

    The “principal residence” is both a HOME and a huge money pit, with running costs mainly attributable to voracious and seemingly unaccountable “government” entities at ALL levels.

    On top of all that is the simple fact that “freehold” is another myth.

    At ANY time, any of a multitude of “agencies” can tell you to get out; calling it “resumption”. They are simply “resuming” direct control of property which they have graciously let you, and perhaps for several family generations, use, albeit for an extortionate total and annual sum. In the US, there have been savage battle over “eminent domain”; so far, not much here.

    The next assault will be on the “grey nomads” who rent out their “home” and go on the road in various vehicles until they can no longer do it.

  9. A H

    Can we do something like remove regulation outside of capital cities, so that regional areas become amazingly cheap and attract people from the cities? In the long term, capital cities might have to compete.

    I was reading a planning document for the Bellerine peninsula and they want to keep rural properties in the mix purely to maintain views. What the hell guys?

  10. Roger

    Can we do something like remove regulation outside of capital cities, so that regional areas become amazingly cheap and attract people from the cities? In the long term, capital cities might have to compete.

    Excellent idea, AH.

    Mind you, building regs could be liberalised in the suburbs as well.

  11. Herodotus

    The fact is that governments have agreed to an ever-growing set of regulations covering everything from phony endangered species to requirements for set-asides for child care, community centres and so on.

    Love it! Phony endangered species are the stock-in-trade of activists-at-large.

    As for the child care, that used to be what houses were for.

  12. Ragu

    Ministers who seek to increase housing supply are doubtless well meaning. But they inherit a set of laws and a bureaucracy wedded to these and to imposing their own preferred housing development pattern onto the community as a whole. Until this is tackled root and branch we will not see affordable housing in Australian cities.

    All well and good, but you’ve missed the main component. People are selling homes for ridiculous prices because buyers are paying ridiculous prices.

  13. Alan Moran

    What’s with Ragu. First he says that $150k is too high a price. Maybe but the point is that $700 k is much too high and driven by regulations. Then he comes in with the anodyne ‘prices are high cus people pay high prices’. The point is that they are high because regulatory controls constricts supply – absence those controls the $700 k house would by $250k tops because builders would find it profitable to build them

  14. Roger

    The point is that they are high because regulatory controls constricts supply…

    And high immigration boosts demand in a regulatory regime which constricts supply.

  15. Supply is indeed a big issue. Demographics is nearly as big, if not bigger. When the boomers die off or sell out to move to nursing homes, supply issues will gradually ease.

  16. Roger

    When the boomers die off or sell out to move to nursing homes, supply issues will gradually ease.

    Theoretically, yes, but other factors are also in play.

  17. Tel

    We have a very low cost house building industry

    I’ve recently been doing some renovations on the kitchen and I can tell you that very simple things like a tin of paint will not give you much change out of $100. Basic kitchen cabinet from Ikea without any top and build it yourself is around $500. Getting actual labour (I paid a guy to remove a few asbestos panels) blows into the thousands for the smallest jobs. Some years back we had the wiring replaced (because it was old and shit) which for a modest suburban house cost over $10k. Nothing new… just replacing existing wiring that was very old.

    Then I watch some of the American real-estate shows and for something like 1/3 of the price of a house in Western Sydney you can buy waterfront property in the USA that is immaculately built inside and out. I also watch some of the US restoration shows where they take some old item and fix it up like new, and they haggle over over maybe USD 1000 to do the most splendid workmanship. Perhaps that show is a bit old, and there’s been some price-inflation but American handiwork is insanely good, and cheap compared to what you get in Australia.

  18. John Carpenter

    Here a few quick, easy to implement reforms that would immediately cut the cost of housing construction.1/Abolish BASIX; 2/Abolish Builders Warranty Insurance;3/Automate the approval process such that a detached single dwelling would be immediately approved provided it complied with height limitation,boundary setbacks and plot ratio.Allan it would be very difficult to build a house in Sydney for less than $4,000/square metre all in cost.

  19. Diogenes

    John,
    Why have setbacks. Why should i have to leave a 6 m strip of land on my front boundary, i would rather move the house forward and have decent backyard. Side boundaries i can understand

  20. .

    Tel
    #2272210, posted on January 23, 2017 at 8:05 pm
    We have a very low cost house building industry

    Hidden inflation/costs, Tel. American houses have better design and finishes, along with heating and vapour systems.

  21. Sfw

    Raghu reckons you can get abuilder for $50 an hour, love to know where. I used to charge that 15 years ago if you can get a builder for less than $100 an hour you are doing well. I mow lawns now and aim for $60 an hour.

  22. Ragu

    So point proven. $150 000 isn’t cheap.

  23. Pedro the Ignorant

    Some government arsehole dropped a note in my letter box today telling me that my ornamental hedge was too close to the (insulated) house power line and that I have 14 days to get it cleared to their specs or they will send around the government stooges to do it for me.

    In what universe is this not blackmail or overt standover tactics?

    Filthy ceramic fitting etc. . . . . .

  24. Chris M

    This tends not to be an election issue (it should be the main one) as in this country the media decide what the political issues are.

    And with the rivers of real estate advertising gold coming in each week they aren’t about to be rocking any RE boat…. it’s one of the few profitable things left in their decaying empire.

  25. Tim Neilson

    On top of all that is the simple fact that “freehold” is another myth.
    Absolutely. Get told that your nondescript 1980’s townhouse in the People’s Republic of Yarra is “heritage listed” because it’s close to Victorian era terraces, and watch the massive towers of flats overshadow your property from just up the road.
    Some government arsehole dropped a note in my letter box today telling me that my ornamental hedge was too close to the (insulated) house power line and that I have 14 days to get it cleared to their specs or they will send around the government stooges to do it for me.

    In what universe is this not blackmail or overt standover tactics?
    My Father, in his ’80’s and in remission from cancer, living with my mother who was immobile and demented, got a letter from the Council on a Friday afternoon, telling him that if he didn’t get his fence replaced within 48 hours he’d be hit with a $48,000 fine. Australian local government is where the Nazis fled to after WWII.

  26. rickw

    Tick, tick, tick, tick……

  27. Habib

    Badly need a crash. A bigger bubble than the tulip mania, anyone who risks theur capital in this ponzi scheme is demented. It’s not exactly a desirable location, climate or governance either.

  28. Habib

    & you can buy modular houses out of China for about 30k, not a shack but 4/5 bedroom Cape Cod or the like, fully wired, ducted a/c etc. can go up in about 2 days. Fuck sleazy builders, unions, councils, state and federal governments, and douchebag real estate agents, I’ll rather be hurled into a septic tank during unlimited buffet night at Abduls House of Vindaloo than give any of those swine a razoo.

  29. Waz

    Australians have a very immovable psyche. In the US, when prices rise too far or jobs become scarce, people simply move to other locations. We Aussies are just not prepared to move location for either jobs or for better/cheaper housing or schooling or whatever. We break all the rules of rational economic behavior.

  30. Joe

    Australians have a very immovable psyche.

    Because we are so very very few and Australia is so very very large.

  31. Zulu Kilo Die Onuitspeeklike

    Some government arsehole dropped a note in my letter box today telling me that my ornamental hedge was too close to the (insulated) house power line and that I have 14 days to get it cleared to their specs or they will send around the government stooges to do it for me.

    We lost a house in the Toodyay bushfire of December, 2009 – a bushfire caused by negligence on the part of a certain power transmission organization. Three weeks later, we had a visit from some cardboard Fascist, belonging to the same organization, who was so obnoxious on the subject of maintaining power lines, and the need to prevent bush fires, that I nearly took a stock whip to him.

  32. King Koala

    Regulation is a funny way to spell immigration. Put a 10 year moratorium on immigration and start deporting every immigrant or child or grandchild of immigrants who has not assimilated. Voila. Problem solved.

  33. NewChum

    Australians have a very immovable psyche. In the US, when prices rise too far or jobs become scarce, people simply move to other locations. We Aussies are just not prepared to move location for either jobs or for better/cheaper housing or schooling or whatever. We break all the rules of rational economic behavior.

    Stamp duty- a tax on moving. That is why.

    Also, there is only three, maybe 4 major urban centres on the east coast. Not a lot of options for moving about.

  34. Nerblnob

    Zippy The Triumphant
    #2272126, posted on January 23, 2017 at 7:04 pm
    Any politician who deliberately crashes house prices would probably be strung up from the nearest tree.

    Yep. That’s people’s pensions/savings you’re fucking with.

    I’ve just about given up on returning to Australia to live full time.

  35. King Koala

    Yep. That’s people’s pensions/savings you’re fucking with.

    I’ve just about given up on returning to Australia to live full time.

    Fuck young people so long as you old cunts who ruined this country get your money, right?

  36. T Bull

    Waz, i take issue with people not being prepared to move for work. I have done so throughout my life.
    Now i look back and tally up the stamp duty paid and cry. I get no credit from each state government for the amount i have already paid.

    I agree with others on this blog. The bubble will not burst. I rest my Case on three things:
    1. Demand for housing in Sydney and Melbourne is v high and will remain so
    2. Government is hooked on the revenue from high house prices
    3. My University lecturer told me tge bubble could not last (circa 1985)

  37. hzhousewife

    Why have setbacks. Why should i have to leave a 6 m strip of land on my front boundary, i would rather move the house forward and have decent backyard. Side boundaries i can understand

    Side boundaries? what side boundaries. Have a look at new estates, houses are a metre apart on the side!

  38. Sydney Boy

    Was, agree about moving for work. Much of the hand-wringing about property prices is Sydney and Melbourne based. Prices outside of the capital cities are nowhere near the ridiculous level. Even Perth is now reasonable in most areas. If you are a plumber or a forklift driver or barista, the rest I say no need to live in Sydney or Melbourne. What tiny percent of the population must live in a major capital city to be employed. No need to buy a new house every time you move – the economic advantages of renting are known – chase the work, live in a few cities and towns, and when you find that good job then settle down and buy. I am Army and in my first 18 years in the job I lived in 9 houses in different cities and towns.

  39. struth

    Much of my thoughts on this have been expressed by others already.
    I will add about cheaper regional or country alternatives that have been suggested, I also think that they are not value for money and vastly overpriced in many areas of Australia.
    Sure, there are some regional areas with a bit of stuff happening but mostly the employment opportunities and services there are not good and therefore the prices of houses are way overpriced for their location even though they are much cheaper than the cities.
    They in many cases are still way overpriced for what they are.

  40. .

    King Koala
    #2272423, posted on January 24, 2017 at 12:05 am
    Regulation is a funny way to spell immigration. Put a 10 year moratorium on immigration and start deporting every immigrant or child or grandchild of immigrants who has not assimilated. Voila. Problem solved.

    No.

  41. Rabz

    The reporting on Beryl G’s drive to ensure housing affordability is interesting.

    Not a single specific “policy” is mentioned, just the usual handwringing and platitudes.

  42. struth

    I live in a nice home that I still haven’t paid off completely, but have a fair bit of equity in.
    Just recently Mrs Struth was offered good work in another quite nice yet economically depressed regional area of Australia (as, really, they all are).
    We have lived there before and there just happens to be plenty of work for me too, because of what I do.
    In the past, I have moved many , many, times chasing work and ambitiously trying to climb the ladder when younger.
    It would probably be a good move but because of the house prices and associated government bullshit and taxes, I am loath to do it.
    It is not because I couldn’t be bothered moving.
    That is not hard for me.
    I own a semi trailer.
    So,I have a garage (or lawn) sale.
    I pack my house up into it easily and stick one of the cars on the back.
    Mrs Struth drives the other one.
    We would have to be one of the most efficient self movers around.
    I have moved well over twenty times in my life and have lived in every state in Aus apart from NSW and ACT and Tassie.
    Moving is not the issue.
    I look back, and realise many of my moves were as a young man escaping the onslaught of socialism in the areas I lived in, as it killed off opportunity.
    You live and learn.
    For example.
    Alice Springs is affected worse by socialism than many other areas of Australia, so I moved elsewhere.
    But the socialism keeps spreading and over the entire country.
    The prices of the houses in the area we would move to are much less than Sydney or Melbourne, but the point being, they are still too pricey for what they are.
    This, as we know, is all due to the cost of socialist government policy.
    This corrupted shithole with the highest prices for property in the world, we always get told about Sydney or Melbourne as an example.
    The areas where house prices are 300,000 in Australia, comparable areas, the house prices in the states would be 60,000.
    Without the ongoing costs.
    New Zealand doesn’t even tax moving.
    The point of this big rave, is of course the system is set up here to ensure you put that noose around your neck for life, create wealth by working to pay it off, that they steal from you, at every opportunity,
    but you have got to keep working, you have no choice.
    When buying property in Australia, you are investing in Australia.
    A massively overpriced real estate market, IN ONE OF THE MOST SPARCELY POPULATED COUNTRIES on the planet, with corruption and socialism overpowering by the day (that caused the high prices)
    That , especially nowadays as we rapidly head down the Venezuelan road, with Trump putting the U.S. first and leaving our socialist leaders with their fingers up their collective arseholes, is a big ask.

    I could not be bothered moving anymore, as I cannot bring myself to play their game anymore.

  43. Alex Davidson

    The bigger issue here is that all this iron-fist central planning targeted at housing undermines the foundations of justice, prosperity, and freedom. It represents ‘might is right’ instead of the rule of law.

    Under the rule of law, ownership = control, however the socialists and communists in power continually bombard us with propaganda aimed at separating these inseparable concepts, awarding control to themselves, and ownership to the rest of us. But that’s not ownership, it’s fake ownership – serfdom basically.

    Restoring the right of control to owners would go a long way towards making housing more affordable. It would also have the desirable side-effect of reducing the power of the political class.

  44. Leo G

    We break all the rules of rational economic behavior.

    Yes, but we rationalize breaking the rules.

  45. Steve

    Always curious about median and average household income figures – Are they before or after tax?

  46. Alex Davidson

    Always curious about median and average household income figures – Are they before or after tax?

    The Demographia report Alan refers to uses gross annual median household income.

  47. The truly bizarre thing in all this is that it is beyond dispute that the problem is caused by insufficient supply. There is not enough land being released for housing and this is driving up prices. So there are only two solutions; the logical one being to increase supply, but a theoretical solution of reducing demand is also available I guess. Not sure how that could work though.

    Despite this, the only government intervention being proposed; stamp duty rebates, low interest loans, homeowner grants, etc is aimed at driving UP demand. Even as we speak, Treasurer Morrison is investigating yet another plan for low interest housing loans that will only serve to drive up demand.

    Is it deliberate stupidity?

  48. King Koala

    But the socialism keeps spreading and over the entire country.

    What else would be the outcome of importing millions of parasites. Putting a moratorium on immigration is the only solution to the escalating house prices in this country.

  49. King Koala
    #2272869, posted on January 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    What else would be the outcome of importing millions of parasites. Putting a moratorium on immigration is the only solution to the escalating house prices in this country.

    Not the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

  50. Alex Davidson

    Is it deliberate stupidity?

    It isn’t deliberate stupidity, but rather deliberate abuse of power. By settings themselves up as development gatekeepers, the political class have found a way to ensure the money keeps rolling in.

    One aspect of this is political donations; another, just about as evil, is the way that the government’s foot-soldiers – councils – impose all sorts of extortionate ‘conditions of consent’ in DAs. It’s not uncommon to be compelled to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of public infrastructure for subdivisions as small as 2 lots. The Hills Shire council even has a handy form for itemising the plunder.

  51. Squirrel

    I’m with those who think that nothing useful will be done to pop the mega-bubble in our property markets. Governments will want to be seen to be doing something, which will likely mean further boosting the supply of over-priced, shoddily built dogboxes which appeal mainly to landlords, not to occupants (particularly those with, or planning to have, children), and we will probably also get another taxpayer-funded demand boost in the form of assistance for first home buyers (as defined).

    The stamp duty/land tax tradeoff sideshow will doubtless also get a fairly good run, which will be very tempting to big spending state governments looking to lock in the boomtime revenues in perpetuity.

    Meanwhile, toxic asset price speculation – funded in substantial part by the foreign borrowings of our government guaranteed banks – will roll on, and Australia will become an ever more expensive place to do (real) business. Situation normal in our racket economy.

  52. Tator

    Having had to move for work several times around SA and have bought and sold several houses along with building two. These are my observations. My first house cost me $97k to build in the small country town of Nairne in the Adelaide Hills, the block of land cost $30k for 1200 square metres in 1996. When I got divorced in 1999, it sold for $124k, mainly due to the goat track that was Mount Barker Rd being replaced by the Heysen Tunnels which cut travelling time by 15 minutes so it was a half hour commute instead of a 45 minute to an hour depending on how many semis you got stuck behind going down the hill in lug cog. In 99, I bought myself a small 2 bed unit for $64k, still own it as a rental and is positively geared now. In 2001, bought a 300 square metre villa block for $60k and built a 3 bedder on it for $110k. Three years later, same size blocks were selling for $160k and this was in an urban renewal project where all the roads and infrastructure were already in place. Seven years ago, I was talking to workers at a greenfields project called St Clair. They stated that there was an infrastructure charge on each block of at least $87k just to pay for the roads, water, domestic power and the commercial high voltage line that needed to be laid for a Coles shopping centre on the fringe of the development. It also was to cover the stormwater recovery project that was needed as the housing was replacing a horse racing facility and required wetlands to enable stormwater recovery as SA was going through the Millennium drought at the time. Even the blocks in places like Nairne have skyrocketed in price. selling blocks just 450 square metres in size for $212k so effectively a 1/3rd of the size block for 7 times the price in just 20 years or 20 times the price per square metre. Whereas normal inflation would have had the price of a 1200 square metre block at $48.5k

    As for people leaving Adelaide or not wanting to live there, it is not the house prices that cause the problem, it is the incompetent ALP Government we have who have given SA the highest cost and lowest reliability electricity network, high cost water with unreliable pipes which keep bursting, high business taxation and a nanny state public service which competes with CFMEUISTAN. Even with such a nanny state, our child protection services are letting kids get killed by their DFI parents or sexually molested by staff. Our public education system is the lowest performing in the nation and dropping further. They are closing hospitals and beds in the Public health system and centralising all the specialist areas in the New RAH which is close to a billion over budget and years late. They are claiming a budget surplus generated by the sales proceeds of the Motor Accident Commission and its huge investment portfolio but have tripled the state government debt and the unfunded superannuation liability in the 15 years they have been in power and have little productive infrastructure to show for it apart from a mothballed desal plant, a refurbished stadium for Football and Cricket along with a minor tramline extension and a new tunnel for the OBahn which nobody had been lobbying for and costs $160 million to save people 5 minutes in travel time of which it looks like will be taken up with extra walking time for most passengers due to the changes in the locations of the bus stops.

  53. King Koala

    Not the sharpest tool in the shed, are you?

    Did I trigger you? Do you have an actual argument or are you just going to throw around childish insults?

    Let me guess, you are one of those open borders nutjobs who worship immigration and multiculturalism?

  54. .

    The immigration rate could double halve or reverse and it would barely impact prices.

    Furthermore you want to deport the grandchildren of people who have committed a perceived (i..e not a real) sin against you.

    You’re nuts.

  55. Len

    As someone in the business, the economic analysis here is fairly much right although the immigration stuff is off the charts just plain wrong. Sticking to facts however $2000 per block as ag land is a bit off the mark. Check what was recently paid by Frasers in Wyndham Vale Melbourne for market garden land. Approx yield of 1150 lots on 115ha for $95m works out at about $83k per lot ‘raw’ land cost. Development costs, govt fees and charges, sales and marketing and 20% profit and GST will bring that up to $250k retail. No joke.

  56. Rob Gillespie

    My experience in Sydney has been that once an area is identified for urban growth it takes well over 10 years before the first lot is available to the public!!

    One factor also increasing costs relate to biodiversity offset regulations. Where a land release will impact biodiversity it is a requirement that this be addressed by purchase of offsets, often in the same area, at prices that reflect soon to be urban land values.

  57. EB

    Affordability for politicians = mind game incentives not lower prices. So forget it, once things get out of control they’re more interested in levitating prices than having them lower. Those unearned gains aren’t allowed to be lost, lest “confidence” shit its pants.

  58. King Koala
    #2273131, posted on January 24, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Do you have an actual argument

    Says the guys whose answer to everything is “muh immigrants!”

  59. King Koala

    Still not an argument Shane. Still, at least you aren’t as dumb as dot who does not understand supply and demand.

  60. .

    You simpleton – the supply issues are much, much more important than demand – and as the population increases, so does specialisation in the economy.

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