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Modelling landlord behaviour and its impact on rental affordability: insights across two decades

The project will provide a much-needed and timely update to previous AHURI research that modelled factors shaping residential landlord behaviour between the period of 2001-2006. Since then, the housing market has been subject to landscape-changing shocks – in particular the global financial crisis (2008-2009) and the global COVID-19 pandemic. These have undoubtedly shifted the economic and social context within which households make decisions to invest in property and other assets.

The research will generate an up-to-date national evidence base on landlords’ rental investment behaviour to the year 2021. It will uncover how landlords’ investment decisions have been impacted by recent global shocks. The project will predict the impacts of policy changes on landlord behaviour and consequences for tenants’ affordability outcomes.

The project will address four key research questions: 

  1. How many households buy, retain and sell their rental investment property over time? How long do households retain their investment property? Do the rental investment profiles of households differ across housing market cycles and shocks, geography, household characteristics? 
  2. What are the factors that influence a household to buy versus sell rental property? 
  3. What are the factors that influence a household to retain their rental investment property? 
  4. How can the project findings help promote the supply of private rental housing? To what extent will supply-side policy reforms improve affordability outcomes for private renters?

The project will employ a variety of modelling techniques such as Binary choice modelling, Survival rate modelling and Microsimulation modelling. A simulation exercise will also attempt to examine the changes in rental investment behaviour due to external shocks such as COVID-19.

Lead Researcher: Dr Ranjodh Singh, Curtin University

Project Number: 81295