Housing affordability: Growth in regional Victoria signals opportunity

The Property Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s release of statistics on the First Home Owner Grant for purchasers of newly constructed homes in regional Victoria yesterday but warns that a balanced approached is needed across all of Victoria.

According to the Government’s media release, its Homes for Victorians package has helped Victorians purchase more than 900 homes across regional Victoria.

Whilst this is a positive development, Victorian Executive Director, Sally Capp, offered a reminder to the Government that it is possible to address first home ownership in regional Victoria while continuing to encourage the apartment market in metropolitan Melbourne.

“The measures taken by the Government to date — and their evident results in regional Victoria — should be congratulated. However, the State enjoys a strong fiscal position and there is no reason these measures should not be available to the inner-city apartment market as well,” said Ms Capp.

Ms Capp noted that the eradication of the stamp duty concession for off-the-plan purchasers has resulted in a material slowdown in the construction of apartments. This has flow through effect of reducing the impacting the availability and affordability of housing for Victorians seeking accommodation in the inner and middle-ring.

With the Government’s December 2017 Budget Update indicating a forecast surplus of $1.7 billion in 2017-18, rising to $2.6 billion in 2020-21, the State’s financial position is not holding it back.

“We continue to encourage Government to be brave, to be ambitious and to work with the private sector to look for further initiatives to deliver affordable housing right across Victoria.”

Despite the positive figures from the first six months, the Property Council continues to advocate for a review in July 2020, to ensure a complete picture of uptake and effect.

Media contact:  Sally Capp  |  M  0439 983 693  |   E  scapp@propertycouncil.com.au