As affordability continues to be a concern across Australia, industry experts and policymakers have been constantly looking for ways to ensure that the market stays accessible, especially for first home buyers. One suggestion: increase land supply.
That is the view of Housing Industry Association (HIA) Victoria Executive Director Fiona Nield. She said a lack of supply of new land has been a major constraint to housing stock that is affordable for new home buyers.
“HIA has long advocated for more efficient delivery of shovel-ready land and reduced taxation and charges associated with new home buildings. The current shortage of land across metropolitan Melbourne is starting to bite, resulting in additional cost to new home buyers. This needs to be urgently addressed," Nield said.
She spoke favourably of the plans announced by opposition leader Matthew Guy, who promised to release around 300,000 plots of land in Melbourne's fringe areas as part of the Liberal Party's campaign.
"This is a positive development, a plan that increases the supply of land for new homes, and we would hope reduces punitive taxes and charges imposed on that new land, which will flow through to new home buyers as lower upfront costs," Nield said.
She explained that the current shortage of land supply results in delays of up to two years from when home buyers sign a contract to when the homes are actually built.
Nield added that more cost-effective planning processes, as well as improved access to land labour and resources, will help make the first step towards affordability.
"We are in a unique situation in Victoria where the housing industry is currently producing a record number of homes and plays a significant role in the Victorian economy. The economic benefits of the housing industry are significant with one in ten people employed in Victoria in the construction industry,” she said. “Importantly we need to address housing affordability so all Victorians can have a home to come back to at the end of each day.”
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