With house prices continuing their trip to the stratosphere, the Greens want an end to tax breaks for property investors. 

Australia has the third most expensive housing market in the world, states the latest housing affordability survey from Demographia.

Major cities with the least affordable housing markets were also ranked in the survey, with Sydney ranked second and Melbourne ranked sixth.

Following the release of the Demographia survey, Greens housing spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW housing spokesperson Jenny Leong issued a joint statement on the official website of the Australian Greens. Both Rhiannon and Leong called it “absurd” that the federal and state governments insist they’re tackling housing affordability when they refuse to make any changes to tax structures like negative gearing and capital gains tax discounts.

“Decades of generous tax concessions to investors have supercharged the housing market, said Rhiannon. “Federal and state governments should be making it easier for people to buy their first home and not their third or fourth property. Instead they remain devoted to wealthy property investors, and continue to deflect basic truths about the impacts of negative gearing.”

She was particularly concerned over Coalition MPs telling millions of residents living and working in Sydney and Melbourne to pack their bags and move elsewhere.

“Prime Minister Turnbull’s insistence that his government is serious about tackling housing affordability while keeping negativ e gearing off the agenda is deeply insulting, particularly for those who face a future of housing insecurity,” she said.

The Australian Greens’ longstanding position is to end what it sees as unfair tax breaks that put investors ahead of prospective homebuyers.

“We need a major reset on how we consider housing,” Leong said. “Housing should not primarily be a speculative investment that makes money for already wealthy people; it should be a basic right that is accessible to everyone in our community.”

Leong NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to move beyond the “increase supply” mantra and focus on tax reforms, which would benefit first-home buyers over profit-hungry investors.

“Housing stress is having devastating impacts,” she said. “[It’s] time to get serious and respond to this crisis with real action … now.”