Housing boost in the pipeline

Housing boost in the pipeline

The 2017 federal budget’s housing affordability measures are set to boost Australia’s housing supply by 41% over the next four years, according to a report from an Australian building and construction industry body.

The report, “Unlocking Supply: Keeping homeownership within reach of all Australians” from Master Builders Australia crunches the budget’s numbers in relation to infrastructure and housing supply, both key factors in tackling the looming issue of housing affordability in Australia.

Using modelling from Cadence Economics, the report forecast the following outcomes for the community, economy and the construction sector from the budget:

  • 93,000 additional new homes for Australians by 2021 and downwards pressure on house prices.
  • 4200 more construction jobs.
  • A $4.5 billion boost to construction industry activity.
  • A $3.1 billion extra for households in reduced cost of living pressures and similar savings.
  • A $2 billion boost for GDP.

Master Builders Australia CEO, Denita Wawn, described these results as good news for Australians, stating that the budget’s measures should help to keep the Australian dream of home ownership alive.

“There has been a lot of attention paid to the helping young Australians overcome the deposit gap, but the Budget’s supply side measures strike the main blow in keeping home ownership within reach,” she said.

“But the full potential of the Government’s housing affordability package will only be realised with the roll out of the financial incentives to state governments to remove planning and zoning barriers to building more new homes.”

The key budget measures analysed by the report are the federal government’s $75 billion commitment to critical infrastructure projects, and the $1 billion to establish the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, both intended to facilitate further housing development in undersupplied areas.

Other 2017 budget measures to tackle housing supply and affordability include:

  • Releasing more government land for housing, starting with 127 hectares of Defence land in Maribyrnong for the development of 6000 more homes.
  • Establishing the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to provide long term low-cost finance for affordable housing providers, giving investors the confidence to invest in the sector.
  • The First Home Super Savers Scheme to help young Australians save for a deposit.
  • Tightening the rules for foreign investors, including abolishing capital gains tax concessions and taxing empty “ghost houses”.

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