Capping approval times keeps housing affordable

The Property Council today reinforced the importance of housing affordability in Tasmania.

Executive Director TAS, Brian Wightman said that whilst we have time limits for Council planning approvals there are no limits for detailed subdivision or building approvals. 

 “The substantial delays and onerous requirements for the necessary approvals beyond the planning permit are having a substantial impact on housing affordability,” he said.

The recently released Property Council of Australia Research Paper outlined the ten most essential components of improving affordability including cranking up housing supply, diversity and choice, and making housing cheaper to produce.

“The delays in processing detailed subdivision design and building permits are affecting the supply of housing into the market and driving up prices through increased costs to developers which flow on into land and housing prices,” he said.

The Property Council said that the State Government should take responsibility for housing affordability by reducing regulatory delays and reinstating the First Home Builders Grant to the original, full amount as well as providing regulatory timeframes for approvals at all stages of development.

“Maintaining the First Home Builders Grant at $20,000 ($10.4 million) is a positive move, however the Property Council assertively advocated for a return to $30,000 and an expanded definition to include families moving to Tasmania who have not built a house in the state before.

 “Providing stamp duty relief of $7500 for eligible house and land packages together with a commitment to audit government land holdings to increase supply is an important initiative to improve housing affordability.

 “They should also amend the Local Government and Building Acts to restrict the maximum approval time for post planning Building and Subdivision Approvals to the same 42 days as planning applications or be deemed approved,” Mr Wightman said.

The Tasmanian Division encouraged the State Government to consider reforming the subdivision approval timeframes of councils to drive efficiencies, and maintain housing affordability.