Dream of home ownership may slip away from Hunter families

25 May 2008

The cost of building new homes has to be cut if Hunter families are to escape the rental trap, according to Aaron Gadiel of the Urban Taskforce.

The proposed State government levies on new homes in Cessnock are likely to hit record levels over $25,000 a home, Mr Gadiel said.


This is well over the previously anticipated level of $12,000 a home.


If this becomes the new Hunter benchmark, the local housing industry could grind to a halt.


Mr Gadiel said that Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that the rate of home ownership in the Hunter was falling.


Between 2001 and 2006, 12,000 extra homes were built in the Hunter.


This should have been a boom for home ownership but instead an extra 9,000 Hunter households ended up renting, while only an extra 3,000 Hunter families were able to buy a home for the first time.


Mr Gadiel said the Hunter was also suffering from the state-wide collapse in new home construction.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics show that only 29,000 new homes were built in NSW last year, Mr Gadiel said.


Thats the lowest level since the ABS began collecting data on the subject in 1980.


Its only two-thirds of the average rate of new home construction in the 1990s and thats despite significant population and demographic changes.


In the three years that home construction has been in freefall, rents for three bedroom houses have skyrocketed by 22 per cent in Cessnock and Lake Macquarie, 20 per cent in Newcastle and 18 per cent in Maitland.


The shortfall in new homes means that young families are competing amongst themselves for a limited number of rental properties.


Extra government levies will stop new homes being built and force rents up even further.


A typical fully serviced residential lot – without a house – costs $150,000-$165,000 in Cessnock.


A $25,000 State Government tax makes these lots unaffordable.


This proposed levy would be on top of the $6,500 charge already imposed by Cessnock Council on each new home.


Various government agencies are all producing a wish list and no single body is taking control to ensure accountability to the wider community.


Were calling on the Minister for Planning, Frank Sartor, to rein State Government levies on new homes.


This hidden taxation on new families cant continue.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.

Media Enquires:
Aaron Gadiel,
Chief Executive Officer,
Phone: 0417 477 904  or (02) 9238 3955

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