I welcome the report released today by Master Builders Australia, in conjunction with Cadence Economics, that demonstrates how the Turnbull Government’s comprehensive housing affordability package will unlock supply and, in turn, reduce pressure on affordability across the entire housing spectrum.
The report recognises that a lack of supply, especially in our capital cities, is fundamental to many of the housing affordability challenges Australians face, and commends the “unprecedented commitment by the Commonwealth Government to housing affordability and infrastructure investment” in the Budget.
The report also notes the role the Federal Government can play in supporting reforms to boost housing supply, including planning and zoning reforms, and recognises there are “a number of programs announced as part of the 2017 Federal Budget slated to do just that.”
The new National Housing and Homelessness Agreement announced in the Budget will target jurisdiction-specific priorities including supply targets, planning and zoning reforms and renewal of public housing stock, while also supporting the delivery of homelessness services.
This complements other measures announced in the Budget, such as the First Home Super Saver Scheme and measures to reduce barriers to downsizing, which were introduced into Parliament last week.
Importantly, the report reiterates that there is no one single housing market in Australia and a carefully calibrated and targeted approach must be taken to address housing affordability. The report states:
“Federal tax settings are not adjustable by jurisdiction. Tinkering with them to curb investor activity in Sydney and Melbourne risks further exacerbating the cyclical downturn in the housing markets in Perth and Darwin”.
This is why Labor’s ‘silver bullet’ negative gearing housing tax will worsen housing affordability.
By taking a chainsaw to the housing market, Labor will only make life harder for people hoping to enter the housing market by pushing investors into new residential estates and developments, locking out first home buyers and drastically hiking up rents for the 30 per cent of Australian households in the rental market.
Only the Turnbull Government has a comprehensive plan to tackle the challenges of housing affordability across the entire housing spectrum – from first home buyers, to renters, to those in social and affordable housing and those suffering homelessness.