Focus on housing welcome: broader solutions are the key

The Property Council welcomes the Shadow Treasurer’s commitment to make housing affordability a primary policy issue for the Opposition over the coming term.

“Mr Bowen’s speech recognises a central tenet of the Australian success story: high rates of home ownership across all parts of Australian life are critical to social cohesion and economic security”, said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia.

“High rates of home ownership have been the means by which countless Australians have built personal wealth, created a sense of security and developed deep roots into their local community.

“High rates of home ownership result in a deep sense of community reciprocity. This industry has a compelling interest in ensuring that we repair the emerging breach between house prices with the experience of previous generations.

“We agree with Mr Bowen, the next generation of Australians entering the workforce must not be priced out of the housing market.

“While we have differences with the Opposition about its tax policy for housing, we take this speech as an invitation to explore other areas where we can encourage high rates of home ownership and increased housing supply.

“Our concern about the Opposition’s current negative gearing policy is that it is not an answer to the worsening state of housing affordability.  It is a tax policy masquerading as a housing affordability policy.

“The McKell Institute and the Grattan Institute are the Opposition’s biggest supporters of its negative gearing policy, but even they concede that the impact on house prices will be minimal. McKell argues it will curtail prices by a modest 0.5 per cent a year and Grattan argues a 2 per cent fall in the price of housing.

“Our challenge is supply and finding sensible ways to reduce costs in the market place. It is worth noting that the biggest beneficiaries of high house prices are state governments who are collecting enormous stamp duty and land tax receipts.

“We are in the first few months of this term and we look forward to engaging with the Opposition as they develop their policies to address the challenges identified today.”

Media contact:  Paul Ritchie  |E pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au