NSW playing gesture politics on housing

The NSW Government should stop slugging homebuyers with the nation’s highest taxes and charges and take practical actions to improve housing affordability rather than engaging in another round of the ‘blame game’, according to the Property Council of Australia.

The Property Council's Chief of Policy and Housing Glenn Byres said housing affordability was the worst in NSW and the Baird Government should take responsibility for it, rather than blaming others.

“NSW is playing gesture politics to distract attention from its own failures and excessive taxes on homebuyers,” Mr Byres said.

“The mix of taxes and charges built into the cost of purchasing new homes in Sydney adds over $100,000 to the burden facing homebuyers.

“If Rob Stokes was serious about affordability, he could walk down the corridor, tap on the door of Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian and tell them to abolish stamp duty.

"The average homebuyer in Sydney is gouged for more than $40,000 on a purchase – and NSW has doubled its stamp duty revenue from $4 billion to $8 billion in the last five years.

“NSW also has the highest infrastructure taxes and charges in the nation, which are baked into the cost of new housing and add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost facing homebuyers.

“They add to the woes by running the worst planning system in the country which adds time, cost and red tape to new projects – which is where Rob Stokes should focus his time.

"And NSW keeps adding to the problem via extra infrastructure charges, value capture and new taxes on long-standing Australian home builders with foreign capital on their corporate balance sheet.

“NSW is doing a lot to drive the economy, but shouldn’t kid itself on how far there is to go in fixing its own planning and tax system.

“Here are the facts on negative gearing. Even supporters of change can only point to a difference of between 0.2-0.5 percent in house prices – hardly the sea change we need in the affordability debate.

“Over 70 percent of people who use negative gearing own one investment property, and another 18 percent only own two.

“And more than two-thirds of people who use negative gearing have taxable incomes below $80,000 per year, including teachers, nurses and clerical workers.”

Media contact:  Glenn Byres |  E gbyres@propertycouncil.com.au