Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
This chapter describes and discusses the problem of combined volatile petroleum prices and varying housing mortgage cost pressures with household socio-economic patterns and urban structure within a large, dispersed city region. The chapter addresses two prominent economic phenomena witnessed in the past decade that have impacted on urban transport systems. The first phenomenon has been the sharp increase and uncertainty in global oil prices from 2004 onwards and that marked a departure from relatively consistent and modest prices experienced during the previous two decades. This global petroleum price growth increased vehicular fuel costs in most countries and spurred concerns about their impact on households. As of mid-2013, global oil prices remain volatile having risen to record highs in 2008 followed by a precipitous plunge at the onset of the global financial crisis before gradually increasing to settle around US$110 per barrel. The second significant urban phenomenon during this period was marked inflation in house prices in many urban housing markets and the subsequent plateauing or decline within these markets due to the global financial crisis (GFC). The global credit market failures witnessed as a result of the GFC have been tied to domestic mortgage lending in a number of countries. This weakness has reduced the vitality of housing markets in many nations, including Australia.
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