“The Australian Dream” – Housing Affordability and Supply Inquiry Report Released

In August 2021, the House of Representative Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue first revealed it would be conducting an inquiry into housing supply and affordability. At this time, Jason Falinski MP, the committee chair called home ownership “one of the building blocks of Australian Society”.

In his foreword to “The Australian Dream”, Minister Falinski states ”Australia has more useable land than any other continent in the world, outside the Penguins of the South Pole”.

“We have one of the least densely populated countries in the world with some of the highest average weekly earnings, and the highest minimum wage in the world. Yet, by some measures our vie largest cities are all in the 25 least affordable markets in the world”.

“While there is no one answer to make housing more affordable” he conceded, there are a number of practical ways outlined within the report that would allow the Federal Government to improve the affordability and supply of housing in Australia.

When addressing the media about the report’s release, Minister Falinski said “the primary driver of growing house prices is the lack of market response”.

“We need to reform broken planning systems, fix inefficient regulation, and stop new home buyers unfairly bearing the brunt of taxes and charges that are designed to raise funds, not living standards,” he continued.

“This report identifies opportunities for all levels of government to unlock more housing supply, create more affordable homes and increase home ownership.”

His recommendation was to “cut the Gordian Knot of oppressive regulation, muddle-headed central planning, officious big state regulation and the skinning of new home buyers via a myriad of taxes and charges designed to raise funds not living standards.”

Below are several of the recommendations outlined in “The Australian Dream”:

  • First home buyers should be allowed to use superannuation assets as security for home loans
  • ·         That the Australian Government not change its current policy regarding negative gearing
  • ·         That State and Territory governments replace stamp duty with land tax
  • ·         Further to the above – that the Australian government review how “transitional costs regarding [stamp duty] might be smoothed”
  • ·         That state and local governments increase urban density in “appropriate locations”
  • ·         That the Australian Government provide incentive payments to state and local governments to encourage the adoption of better planning policies, as well as grant schemes aimed at materially boosting supply
  • ·         That the Australian Government should implement schemes to facilitate private sector partnerships to deliver “discount-to-market rent-to-own affordable housing”
  • ·         That the Australian government conduct a review into the build-to-rent housing market
  • ·         That the Reserve Bank of Australia not make any changes to its current charter and monetary mandate, “ensuring that house prices are not a specific objective of monetary policy”

It will be very interesting to see what, if any, changes come about in the light of the report’s release.

Remember, if you need any help or advice, we are just a phone call away.

All the best, Simon.

Sources: Grace Ormsby, REB

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