Something is wrong when a professional earning A$170,000 cannot afford to live close to work; or a doctor needs a parental loan to buy a house. All 25 major urban housing markets in Australia are ranked as severely unaffordable; and Australia has the second most unaffordablehousing market among member nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Australian houses are also among the largest in the OECD. In 2008, the average new house was 214 square metres, double the size of an average 1950s house. Very large houses are not only more expensive, but environmentally unsustainable. For example, the major factors that determine a house’s greenhouse gas emissions are its size and location; the bigger and more isolated the house, the larger its emissions.