Build-to-rent a boost for housing in NSW

 

The Property Council of Australia today welcomed the commencement of changes designed to implement a fit for purpose planning and tax regime to get build-to-rent housing off the ground and deliver long term benefits to the people of NSW.

“Build-to-rent delivers much needed housing supply, is good for renters, keeps jobs in construction and is also great for our economy,” NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald said today.

“Build-to-rent can offer longer term rental tenure while also providing professional lease and facility management; all of these can improve the rental experience greatly as overseas experience has shown.

Ms Fitzgerald said the changes would provide a shot in the arm for build-to-rent in NSW by providing a planning and tax framework designed specifically with the new sector in mind.

“The planning changes not only acknowledge that build-to-rent is a different housing ‘product’ to build-to-sell but also provide clear guidance to investors, developers and consent authorities.

“The tax changes will improve certainty for investors and remove disincentives that would have held the sector back.”

Ms Fitzgerald said data released this week by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment showed a dramatic decline in the Housing Supply Forecast for the next five years for Sydney .

“International experience demonstrates strongly that build-to-rent is exactly the right response to a cyclical downturn in housing supply so the Treasurer and Planning Minister deserve kudos for making these changes right now,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

“There is no silver bullet to reverse the trend this week’s data confirmed but the post-GFC experience in the US and UK shows build-to-rent can deliver housing supply through, and out of, an economic downturn like the one COVID has delivered.

The changes which commence from today will see:

  • Specific planning rules that ‘define’ build-to-rent as purpose built housing with more than 50 dwellings that is unable to be subdivided for at least 15 years.
  • A specific planning pathway for large scale build-to-rent projects (over $100 million) where they will be dealt with as State Significant Developments.
  • Greater flexibility in some planning rules to ensure the special design and amenity features of overseas build-to-rent developments can be delivered such as a greater proportion of shared or communal spaces.
  • Changes to land tax so it does not act as a disincentive to the growth of the build-to-rent sector.

 Media contact: Lauren Conceicao | M 0499 774 356 | E lconceicao@propertycouncil.com.au