Industry body warns against foreign investor taxes

The Property Council of Australia has urged the NSW government not to make it harder for families to afford a home by increasing the land tax and stamp duty for foreign investors.

Jane Fitzgerald, NSW executive director of the Property Council, said any suggestion that this would improve housing supply or housing affordability is false.

“NSW needs more housing. A decade of under supply is responsible for Sydney’s housing crisis,” she said.

“Turning investors away by imposing a huge new tax is one way to ensure it doesn’t get any better.”

Ms Fitzgerald said that with the Victorian government’s imposition of these taxes over the past 12 months, NSW – in particular, Sydney – has a competitive investment advantage which the state government would squander if it followed suit.

“Nationally, foreign investment is underpinning Australia’s record levels of new housing construction rather than stopping Australians from buying a home,” she said.

“Given current economic conditions, it would be a gravely risky strategy with implications for both housing supply and housing affordability in NSW.

“There are international investors right now considering whether to build residential housing in NSW. If they choose to go elsewhere, our housing affordability crisis will worsen.”

Ms Fitzgerald said the focus of the NSW government should be on abolishing stamp duty.

“The tax take from it alone has doubled in the past five years from $4 billion up to $8 billion,” she said.

[Related: ‘Every Chinese buyer makes 4 homes available for locals’]

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