Re-establishment of National Housing Supply Council will provide best data to analyse expected housing supply and demand

A new report by the Australian National University about housing supply is a reminder why the government needs to re-establish the National Housing Supply Council.

“Australian housing supply is barely keeping up with demand”, said Glenn Byres, Chief of Policy and Housing for the Property Council of Australia.

“Demand is high for housing – and will continue to be high in coming years with official forecasts showing the big four capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth growing by 5.9 million people by 2031.

“While the ANU research highlights areas of temporary over or under supply, the long-term trajectory of increasing demand will wash through all suburbs.

“The ANU’s observations about micro markets falling in and out of favour is a useful addition to the debate and reflects the natural occurrence in housing cycles as finance and construction decisions interact with local economic conditions and demand.

“The challenge of our times is meeting supply which is often stymied by state and local government regulation and taxes.

“For example, Australia’s largest city, Sydney has barely met the State Government’s own supply targets even in an era of economic growth, record low interest rates and strong demand.

“We have sustained population growth coming to our big capital cities so there is a clear need to begin removing the tax, regulatory and planning hurdles that inhibit new housing construction.

“One of the greatest impediments to efficiency in the housing market is stamp duty which acts as both a barrier to entry and brake on mobility. Stamp duty limits choice within housing markets and adds tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of housing.

“The states still run complex and cumbersome planning systems that take too long to release land to market, and then hold up approvals on development.

“There are positive signs from recent efforts to use Commonwealth-State housing agreements to incentivise the states to fix supply pipelines, but we can’t linger on reforms at a time when approvals are tapering.

“The ANU has rightly highlighted the need for better analysis of housing markets – both in the short term and long term, and we believe that function is best served by the re-establishment of the National Housing Supply Council.”