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RBA analysis a powerful call for planning reform

New quantitative evidence released today by the Reserve Bank of Australia provides the strongest possible argument for reform of Australia’s planning systems.

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the RBA’s report, The Effect of Zoning on House Prices, should be a compelling call to action for federal, state and territory governments.

“The RBA has provided clear evidence that restrictive zoning is a key reason for Australia’s high and rising house prices – supply has been unable to meet demand.” Mr Morrison said.

“The numbers in their analysis are new but the argument isn’t – it echoes the calls of a number of bodies including ourselves, the Productivity Commission, CEDA, the Senate Economics References Committee and others that increasing supply is the key to improve housing affordability.

“No one is arguing for a planning free for all – cities need proper planning but what the RBA is pointing to is a whole range of unnecessary costs that must be addressed.

“The cost of not fixing our planning systems is felt by every young person who gives up on the great Australian dream of home ownership. It’s felt by every family taking on a mortgage $100k higher than it needs to be, and by parents and grandparents wondering how on earth their children will ever be able to realise the same property aspiration they did.

“The RBA’s report confirms that the negative effects of poor planning are particularly evident in infill areas where land is limited such as close to the CBD or transport nodes.

“Clearly planning reform to increase density and infrastructure provision need to be better coordinated – while maintaining liveability.

“We need the Federal Government to incentivise state and territory governments to increase density through planning reform. For their part, state and territory governments must work with local governments to relax zonings to increase density particularly on transport corridors”

“We have seen some welcome action from governments to improve affordability, whether it be in the form of city deals or specific measures to boost housing-related infrastructure.

“But zoning and broader planning reform are essential pieces if we are to solve the housing affordability puzzle.”

Media contact:  Fiona Benson | M 0407294620 |  E fbenson@propertycouncil.com.au