Government research body improves housing market insights

Recognising the significant benefits of effective housing market research, the Federal government is now funding AURIN - the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network.

AURIN features an on-line research platform that provides detailed data along with associated statistical analysis and modelling of the potential causes of variations in housing markets.

Australia’s housing markets are in a constant state of flux reflecting the diversity and volatility of the factors that drive activity levels. The complexity of housing market dynamics provides fertile ground for researchers to determine effective insights into the current state and future prospects of market activity.

Effective housing market insights are valuable not only to the active stakeholders – home owners, buyers, sellers, investors and tenants - but also importantly to governments  as a mechanism to facilitate efficient policy outcomes over a broad spectrum of agenda.

AURIN is a $24m project led out of the University of Melbourne and funded through the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). AURIN encompasses a collaborative network of researchers, public agencies and business organisations delivering on-line access to a wide range of data on vital aspects of Australia’s diverse urban settlements system.

The AURIN Workbench currently gives access to well over 1,000 key datasets and provides the on-line capability to integrate and interrogate data using advanced open source spatial and statistical modelling, planning scenario tools, and visualisation.

A partnership between AURIN and the Domain Group through its subsidiary APM Pricefinder is delivering the capability for complex housing market issues to be investigated through AURIN’s on-line research infrastructure capabilities.

Linking to APM Pricefinder’s extensive databases on residential property sales and rentals, AURIN’s systems enable insights into a specified suburb or town, or take a perspective across a broad region such as a metropolitan city to analyse the characteristics of local and regional housing markets and dynamics over time in residential property sales and prices.

Linking APM Pricefinder data with other significant spatial information accessible through AURIN enables almost instantaneous online analysis and modelling of data to investigate the key factors determining variations in housing prices across cities and towns over time.

Through this important collaboration with APM Pricefinder, the AURIN research infrastructure is now making it easier to understand the nature of local housing markets, identify hot-spots of housing turnover and sales price activity, to test statistical propositions regarding the factors that underpin variations in housing affordability, and to identify appropriate interventions to increase housing supply or provide access to social housing to alleviate housing stress.

Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for the Domain Group and a member of the AURIN housing market experts group

 Twitter@DocAndrewWilson