The Property Council of Australia welcomed the New South Wales government’s strong commitment to helping residents access home ownership, but stressed the critical role of supply measures in the policy mix.
NSW chief executive Luke Achterstraat said the government’s shared capital lawsuit was an indicator of the extent of the challenges in the housing market.
“There is no doubt that we are experiencing a housing supply crisis in New South Wales, which is putting a strain on affordability, both in terms of ownership and rental,” Mr Achterstraat said.
“The focus on helping some of the most vulnerable people in the state through this assistance program is a well-intentioned undertaking. For many Australians, their home is their most valuable financial asset, so housing security can create financial security.
“The Shared Equity Trial uses a two-year, 6,000-place targeted model, so it is unlikely to materially affect prices.”
However, Mr Achterstraat said this type of government intervention was a reminder that urgent action was needed to fix the housing market.
“While these top-down initiatives may help a few, policies that promote housing supply are the only way to address housing affordability for the many,” he said.
“In New South Wales we are still some 100,000 households away from where we need to be, and that deficit is growing.
“We need to see significant reform of the planning system, including a focus on efficient DA approvals, reduction of bureaucracy and timely rezonings.
“In New South Wales it still takes around 200 days for a block of flats to be approved, compared to 100 days in Queensland and even Victoria.”
Mr Achterstraat said there had been significant political fatigue in recent years, so it was time to double down on implementation in the planning system.
“New South Wales has a growing population looking for a wide range of housing options. There needs to be a renewed focus on capitalizing metro lines as well as freeing up properly planned and development-ready greenfield land,” he said.
“Providing an adequate supply of housing means giving Australians choice in housing – including options for older Australians to live close to their children, and teachers and nurses who deserve to live close to the work.
“The housing affordability crisis has also penetrated areas such as Hunter and Illawarra, so it is clear that we need a whole-of-government approach to address it.
“Housing affordability is not a good thing, it’s a must. Although people feel like the dream is fading, we can actually turn it around. With the right decisions, we can actually keep this dream alive for the people of NSW.
Recent research carried out for the Property Council found that 70% of voters feared the dream of owning a home was now out of reach for most Australians.