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Australian housing in international context

Comments on Alan Kohler “Goldilocks housing”, 29/06/2009, http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Goldilocks-housing-pd20090629-TFST8?OpenDocument&src=sph

What is wrong or right with the Australian housing market? It seems to have a different pattern from other major advanced countries.

I remember a study sometimes ago showing that it's ratio of average housing price to average income has been higher than that in the US and the UK. Now that the housing prices in the US and UK have fallen more than that in Australia, the differences in the price to income ratio would be even greater.

If there were housing bubbles in the US, then why weren't there housing bubbles in Australia? Are the differences in the price to income ratio structural or cyclical? What features contributed to those differences? Why are houses in Australia more expensive compared to income than in those in other advanced countries?

Of course, it is always good not to have a crash in housing prices in times of economic recession. However, is Australia facing housing bubbles that will persist for a long time, due to high immigration and capital inflow, as well as government policies?

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