Rev up reform to maintain housing supply

New data on housing construction shows the need to accelerate reforms that can help maintain a sensible pipeline of supply to meet growing demand, according to the Property Council of Australia.

The value of residential construction fell 4.7 per cent in seasonal terms in the last quarter – with Victoria the only state to show an increase.

“The recent data showing a fall in approvals is now being matched by a slide in actual construction,” said Glenn Byres, the Property Council’s Chief of Policy and Housing.

“We risk the scenario of a substantial mismatch between supply and demand at a time when the affordability gap keeps widening.

“The risk to house prices is clear from slowing housing supply pipelines, as well as the economic effects of lower investment and fewer jobs.

“There is no doubt tightened credit is having an impact, but developers are also groaning under the weight of complex and inefficient approvals systems.

“The case for reform to planning systems, housing supply and property taxes is writ large in the new data.

“The Federal Budget mapped a positive agenda on housing affordability, but we need to convert the concepts into a concrete plan of action.

“Incentives to get the states to cut the time, red tape and cost of moving projects to market are an essential part of the policy toolkit.

“New models to help homebuyers close the deposit gap – like the successful Keystart model in WA – are also needed.”  

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