Media Release


Stopping Australia Becoming A Nation of Renters


UDIA National Conference

One of Australia's leading property policy experts has called for a new approach by the Federal Government to deal with the national housing affordability crisis to stop Australia becoming a nation of renters and boost the economy by offering new home buyers free blocks of land for ten years.



Brian Haratsis
MacroPlan Dimasi

The National Land Partnership Program is estimated to reduce first home buyer entry prices by at least 50% and cut the total cost of the dwelling over an average 25 year mortgage period by around 20%.

Brian Haratsis, Chairman of economics and strategic planning company MacroPlan Dimasi, gave a key note address at the Urban Development Institute of Australia National Congress in Melbourne this morning said, "Affordable housing should be the Australian Government's number one policy target to create jobs".

It is estimated the initial National Land Partnership Program project could increase new dwelling starts by around 5,000 dwellings per annum creating 18900 FTE jobs and approximately $1.35 billion in construction expenditure (based on an average construction cost of $270,000 per new detached dwelling, including civil costs).

The call comes just days after the Federal Governments independent adviser the National Housing Supply Council warned poor planning, high costs and red tape mainly in the development approval arena could see Australia become a nation of renters because of the lack of housing affordability.

"Australia now has the highest housing prices in the world because of government inaction, chaotic town planning regulations and kilometres of red and green tape which has killed the Australian Dream for an increasing number of Australians"

MacroPlan Dimasi research identified the root cause of the problem as land prices.Over 90% of the real increase in new housing prices is due to increases in land prices.

"In 2010 first home buyers and people building a new home were carrying the major burden of infrastructure costs. Up front figures by Charter Keck Cramer show in 2011, taxes and charges across the three levels of Government on an average block of land in Victoria costing $199,000, was $46,200. The largest part of the Tax $23,500 is taken by the Federal Government, $16,800 State charges and levies and $5,900 by local councils."

Mr Haratsis said "The key to the program is free land for 10 years for first homebuyers. After 10 years, home owners would be given the choice of buying the land (at the original price, having by that point broken the back of their housing construction mortgage), selling the house and land package or renting the land.

"The scheme envisages the Federal Government initiating a rolling fund of $3 billion over three years to purchase bulk land from the private sector helping smooth out the high and low demands of the property cycle providing the industry with more financial certainty."

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