Affordable Housing Finance by Kim Hawtrey (auth.)

By Kim Hawtrey (auth.)

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Sample text

The Access-to-Finance (A2F) indicator is a bivariate benchmark for housing finance stress where, either because of the deposit hurdle or the repayments burden, or both, a household is unable to afford a mortgage. Generally, A2F will closely reflect the ratio of mortgage servicing costs to income. We will refer to this A2F indicator throughout the text, and report relevant trends in the data, especially in Chapters 4 through 6. One study classifies mortgage stress into two categories. “Mild” mortgage stress is said to be present when households have re-prioritized and curtailed spending to pay the mortgage, but there is no significant risk of default.

Influences on housing affordability fall into four broad categories. • • • • Spatial: zoning, dwelling size, estate design, land supply. Economic: production, income, rents, demography. Government policy: taxes, subsidies, regulations. Financial: interest rates, banks, capital markets, investment. Housing Stress 21 Spatial factors such as urban density, dwelling design, and geography play a role in housing affordability and the dynamics of housing deprivation. So too do physical plant considerations, including new construction rates, deterioration rates, and initial stocks.

The Federal Government did, however, in November 2008, introduce for the first time in that country, a guarantee scheme for large deposits and wholesale funding, a plan it had previously announced in October. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority supported the move. The government arrived at its decision on depositor guarantees not to head off potential bank losses, but rather, in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s words, to “promote financial system stability in Australia, by supporting confidence” during a time of acute uncertainty (Financial Stability Review, October 2008).

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