Supply, supply, supply = key to affordability plan

The Property Council today welcomed the NSW Government’s plan for housing affordability as a strong step in the right direction to solving the housing affordability problem in NSW.

“Overall this is a good plan – it balances supply and demand initiatives and shows the Government has listened to the industry and the people of NSW . The crucial aspect that will define its success will be increasing housing supply. Initiatives that increase demand, such as grants and tax incentives, must be matched by initiatives that boost supply and it appears the Government has heeded this advice,” Property Council NSW Deputy Executive Director Cheryl Thomas said today.

Planning measures drive supply

“We simply must build more homes and increasing the number of Priority Precincts to 15 is a good move and will mean that transport and infrastructure investment can be integrated with land use and decision making can be streamlined

“More housing supply must not be restricted by misleading preconceptions of what increased density is – solutions can be found that provide great liveability options for the community that include services, green space and transport.

“Smaller lot sizes and incorporating codes for faster housing approvals in the priority precincts is a move that will enable diverse housing to be built more quickly – good news for those seeking a home.

“The introduction of planning panels is a decisive move and will depoliticise the development assessment process and should be mandatory across all councils. Representatives on the panel must have specialised expertise so that we do not end up with unfair outcomes for proponents and appeals.

“The fact that councils can be incentivised to meet housing targets and update Local Environment Plans is important. There must be a carrot and stick approach to ensure there is strong strategic planning at a local level and the Greater Sydney Commission is empowered to enforce their strategic outlook.”

Tax moves a mixed bag

“The doubling of the stamp duty surcharge on foreign investment to 8 per cent and upping land tax on foreign buyers to 2 per cent is an approach that must be closely monitored – like any market, if you tighten the screws too tightly, you may inhibit growth” Ms Thomas said.

“We must be careful that foreign investment does not become the boogie man in our housing policy approaches; let’s not jump at shadows; foreign investment promotes growth, jobs and contributes to this state’s income.

“We welcome the government exempting foreign developers that provide housing supply from the surcharge and land tax increases; their original inclusion in the initiative was an unintended consequence that has now been put right.

“The expansion of State Infrastructure Contributions and changes to developer contributions under the Local Infrastructure Growth Scheme must take into account the myriad of other taxes and levies placed on the property industry, otherwise costs will rise and this will be seen in the prices paid for homes.

“The full exemption from stamp duty for first home buyers on new and existing houses up to $650,000 is to be welcomed, but the full exemption threshold could be increased. It should reflect the median house price in most Sydney suburbs and indeed in cities like Wollongong and Newcastle that sit at around $800,000.

“The Property Council looks forward to working with the NSW Government further on this important issue and build on these initiatives.”

Media contact: William Power| M 0429 210 982 | E [email protected]