HouseMate: Lessons from Singapore on How to Provide Universal Cheap Homeownership


While Australia prides itself on being an egalitarian society, and owning a detached house on fenced block of land plays a much-revered role in the Great Australian Dream, in practice, home ownership remains a luxury afforded to the few. As skyrocketing house prices have gradually locked millions out of the Australian real estate market, economist Dr Cameron Murray turned to our neighbour Singapore to find a solution to the housing affordability crisis.

Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Cameron Murray reveals how the small Southeast Asian island-state can teach Australia some valuable lessons on universal cheap home ownership. Inspired by Singapore’s successful policies to boost home ownership for 25-34-year-olds from 60 to nearly 90 per cent over the past four decades, he proposes a similar scheme, called HouseMate, that aims to offer home ownership to any eligible buyer who doesn't already own property, at a discounted price.

About Cameron Murray:

Dr Cameron Murray is a Research Fellow in the Henry Halloran Trust at the University of Sydney with a research focus on housing economics and corruption. He is the co-author of the book Game of Mates: How favours bleed the nation, and a regular media commentator on Australian economic policy.

For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:

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Natali Pearson

Dr Natali Pearson is Curriculum Coordinator at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on the protection, management and interpretation of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia.

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