The NSW Government’s decision to target stamp duty concessions to new housing supply is a smart choice, according to the Property Council of Australia.
From January 1, 2012, stamp duty concessions to first homebuyers will be solely available for the purchase of newly constructed homes and apartments.
It also preserves until July 1, 2012, an existing measure that exempts purchasers from stamp duty when buying new stock off-the-plan on properties valued up to $600,000.
“Housing supply remains limp across NSW and gearing incentives to motivate the construction of new stock makes sense,” NSW Executive Director Glenn Byres said.
“NSW needs to keep steering policy responses to supply-led solutions that improve the affordability equation.
“Designing incentives for first homebuyers in a way that helps trigger the construction of new homes and apartments should help supply.
“It mirrors the strategic direction of the stamp duty concessions unveiled last year that apply to the off-the-plan purchase of new homes and apartments.
“The off-the-plan exemptions were structured to help projects secure lending finance by increasing pre-commitments, and in doing so bring forward new housing.
“Our research suggests it increased supply by 3500 homes and we will continue to argue the case for an elevated threshold from $600,000 and a permanent scheme.
“We also look forward to a continuing dialogue with the Treasurer on reforming property taxes and incentives to drive construction and supply.
“The property sector is critical to the State’s economy – providing more jobs than any other industry and generating over 10 percent of economic growth.”
The Property Council has also welcomed funding to underpin the transition to a new planning system, including:
$7.5 million to support a review of the EP&A Act and planning system,
$12.9 million to expand the role of the Planning Assessment Commission, and
$4.6 million for Joint Regional Planning Panels (JRPPs).
“The State’s planning and development assessment systems are under strain as NSW begins the transition to a new regime – and need resources,” Mr Byres said.
“We are however nervous about the funding for JRPPs being apparently limited to two years and hope it in no way signals their death under a new planning system.”
Mr Byres said three of the seven priority transport projects championed by the Property Council had received significant funding, including:
$314 million this year to commence land acquisition and planning for the North-West Rail Link,
$292 million for the continued roll-out of the South-West Rail Link this year, and
$103 million to expand the light rail in the inner west and support a feasibility study for extending it to the University of Sydney and University of NSW.
To view the Property Council's summary of the 2011-12 Budget, please click here.
Media contact: Glenn Byres, NSW Executive Director, 0419 695 435.