This inquiry was established to assess issues related to home ownership in Australia, and potential policy responses by government.
A range of views on the challenges facing home buyers today were canvassed throughout this inquiry. The core issues related to the housing market inevitably centre on supply and demand – these factors drive property prices around the nation.
Demand for housing is strong in Sydney and Melbourne but it must be noted this is not the case throughout Australia. Many parts of Australia have a relatively weak housing market. It is important that government policy in this area is cognisant of the significant variations in the domestic housing market.
The committee’s view is that government policy in this area should predominantly focus on boosting dwelling supply in underserved markets. Many of the witnesses before the inquiry stated that a lack of supply was contributing to rising house prices in Sydney and Melbourne. In the committee’s view, state and territory governments need to do more to adequately address land supply and ensure that existing policies and processes are not unnecessarily causing an undersupply.
The Federal Government is also focused on this key supply issue through the Smart Cities Plan announced this year, which will partner with the states and territories, and local governments to deliver coordinated housing supply solutions tailored to local needs. The committee welcomes this initiative.
Tax arrangements for the buying and selling of property were key areas of discussion throughout the inquiry. This included negative gearing, capital gains tax on investment properties, stamp duty and land tax.