NSW Labor Housing Proposals will slow supply

The announcement by NSW Labor that in government they would lift surcharges for foreign investors on residential homes will slow down the supply of new homes, says the Urban Taskforce.

“Sydney needs more housing supply not less,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson. “So Labor’s proposal to lift the stamp duty surcharge from 4% to 7% and to double the Land Tax surcharge for foreign investors will be a clear signal that these investors are not wanted. The result will be to minimise this sector of the market and to therefore reduce housing supply.”

“The Urban Taskforce believes that increasing supply is the key game changer that is needed to help with housing affordability and that this can be done by speeding up housing planning approvals and by minimising extra costs being put on developers by councils and state government agencies.”

“We recently asked our developer members for examples of where housing projects were stuck in the planning system and were surprised to get a list adding up to around 40,000 new homes that were in limbo. These projects need to be speeded up to lift housing supply for Sydney. The Department of Planning says an average of 36,000 new homes a year is needed in Sydney over 20 years so in boom times we should be over 40,000 new homes a year. The best performance to-date has been 34,000 so clearly Sydney needs many more new homes.”

“It is concerning that in the media release by NSW Labor, Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park refers in a negative way to ‘developer mates’. The only industry that is going to provide the massive number of new homes needed for Sydney is the developers but they have to battle a slow and complex planning system and manage as a result holding costs that can reach $500,000 a month for large projects.”

“The Urban Taskforce is keen to be involved with all political parties in discussions on housing supply and affordability in a positive and constructive manner.”