To fix Australia’s housing affordability listen to Ken Henry

To fix Australia’s housing affordability listen to Ken Henry

Like most people, Australians are past sick and tired of their elected politicians, simply because they do very little and collectively can’t solve problems – in fact, they now make them worse. Speaking at the 2017 Committee for Economic Development of Australia summit Henry was scathing. “Australia had become so paralysed by political inaction that it had gone from an optimistic nation which pioneered world’s best policy and nurtured world’s best institutions to a place that nobody looked to anymore to see how it should be done.”

“Have you heard a political leader addressing that question? Do you think anybody has a clue? At the very least, we are going to have to find radical new approaches for infrastructure planning, funding and construction.”

“Based on current estimates, Australia needs to build a city for two million people every two years or a city the size of Melbourne or Sydney every decade yet the only plan seems to be stuffing more people into Sydney and Melbourne.”

He went on to say that four priorities could be met by adopting, as a minimum, eight reform proposals. These are:

  • Apolitical infrastructure planning and pricing, including the widespread use of road user charging;
  • A much lower company tax rate, or some other mechanism that reduces substantially the cost to Australian businesses of equity capital sourced from abroad, achieved much more quickly than is presently under consideration by our Parliament;
  • The removal of stamp duties on residential property;
  • Symmetrical tax treatment of interest and capital gains;
  • An overhaul of state-based royalties;
  • Market-based price signals to guide climate change mitigation and long term investment in the energy sector;
  • A broader base and higher rate of GST;
  • A substantial adjustment to roles and responsibilities between the Commonwealth and the states.

Stamp duty on residential property was supposed to be removed when the GST came in on July 1, 2000. How can you justify a duty that has increased by over 800 per cent over since 2000, when it was agreed that it would be removed? It is a no brainer that the GST has to be increased although this time around stamp duty has to be abolished.

This week, the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the tunnel from Manly Vale to the Warringah Freeway was still going to happen although she could not say when? We all know that this won’t be happening given the Liberal Party has now been promising this tunnel since 2002. So, thousands and thousands of new apartments are approved and the NSW government does nothing for transport infrastructure. Then, of course, the NSW government announced late last year the Ingleside development with 3,400 new homes – this is just ludicrous.

No politician responded to the announcement from a new global report which found Sydney the tenth most expensive city in the world for residential tenants. How are young Australians supposed to be getting into our property markets when they are forced to pay some of the highest rents on the planet, then factor in stamp duty plus add another 10 per cent to their previous 10 per cent deposit to qualify for a bank loan? Superannuation is not the answer that is just a dumb solution. Malcolm Turnbull needs to be talking to Ken Henry and urgently implementing his solutions.

If you want to see the impact of stamp duty on property markets look at the graphs that we have compiled – look at the dramatic reduction in people selling.

Mosman House Sales

Mosman Apartment Sales

 

Cremorne House Sales

Cremorne Apartment Sales

Neutral Bay House Sales

Neutral Bay Apartment Sales

Why do politicians keep crucial infrastructure a secret? Well, that would be as Ken Henry correctly pointed out, “Australia has become so paralysed by political inaction”. To fix the problem you first need a model, and we now have one – courtesy of Ken Henry.

You can watch with interest how our elected politicians respond to Henry and his critiquing of the Australian economy. My money is on nothing happening as today we have political paralysis.

MOSMAN – 2088

Number of houses on the market this time last year – 64

Number of houses on the market last week – 48

Number of houses on the market this week – 49

Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 52

Number of apartments on the market last week – 36

Number of apartments on the market this week – 35

CREMORNE – 2090

Number of houses on the market this time last year – 18

Number of houses on the market last week – 11

Number of houses on the market this week – 12

Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 23

Number of apartments on the market last week – 11

Number of apartments on the market this week – 14

NEUTRAL BAY – 2089

Number of houses on the market this time last year – 8

Number of houses on the market last week – 5

Number of houses on the market this week – 3

Number of apartments on the market this time last year – 26

Number of apartments on the market last week – 17

Number of apartments on the market this week – 18

One Response to “To fix Australia’s housing affordability listen to Ken Henry”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *