Governments focus on housing supply welcome

02 April 2011

The NSW governments focus on new housing supply today will be a boost to homebuyers and renters, according to the Urban Taskforce. The Premier, Mr Barry OFarrell, has announced that Landcom would begin work on the governments election commitment to release 10,000 new housing blocks over the next four years.


The Urban Taskforces chief executive, Aaron Gadiel, said that no state has suffered a greater fall in new home construction than NSW over the last eight years.


Last year NSW produced only two-thirds of the new homes it produced in 2002, while Western Australia produced 28 per cent more homes than in 2002, Victoria produced 21 per cent more homes and South Australia produced 16 per cent more homes, Mr Gadiel said.


Even Tasmania has improved its level of new home construction from 2002 levels – to the tune of 51 per cent, Mr Gadiel.


In the last four years, median rents for three bedroom houses in outer suburban Sydney have soared by 44 per cent thats an average annual increase of 9.5 per cent.


Mr Gadiel said there was also an undersupply of apartments in inner suburban areas.


In the last four years, rents for two bedroom apartments in the inner suburbs have swollen by 41 per cent an average of 9 per cent a year, he said.


Mr Gadiel said the new governments support for homebuyer choice and greater competition was particularly refreshing.


Boosting Landcoms program by 30 per cent taking it to 10,000 new blocks over four years – will make an important contribution to Sydneys housing supply, he said.


Sydney needs between 25,000 and 50,000 new homes each year.


But the city only secured 13,400 extra homes in the last financial year, and less than 3,000 of those homes were brand new blocks in Western Sydney.


The very modest targets of the former government require the existing rate of greenfield lot production to be doubled to 6,000 a year.


Mr Gadiel said that todays announcement was a great first step.


Boosting Landcoms activity is good start on a long journey, he said.


But getting new home construction going again in NSW will ultimately depend on private sector development.


This will require reforms to the states high development levies and complex planning processes, as well as strong urban infrastructure investment.


Were optimistic that the governments reform agenda and investment plans will begin to address these issues in the near future.


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


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