The Housing Industry Association is urging the government to address the barriers constraining housing supply.
According to a new report by the Association, Australia’s house prices as a ratio of household income have been rapidly growing for some time now in both capital city and regional areas, making it increasingly difficult for first home buyers to transition from the rental market into home ownership.
“Many first home buyers are not in a position to make the transition to home ownership as they simply cannot afford it. HIA research shows that while many factors contribute to the housing affordability picture, a major cause of falling affordability is that house price growth has outpaced growth in average wages over recent years,” HIA chief executive - association Graham Wolfe said.
Mr Wolfe said poor affordability levels in both capital and regional housing markets have stemmed from large structural supply side obstacles that could be alleviated by careful and considered reformation by government.
“It‟s time that serious and urgent policy action is taken to ensure there is sufficient serviced land for residential building in Australia. Expensive land prices are due to a failure of policies at all levels of government to achieve a timely supply of land for residential development,” he said.
"Similarly, state and territory planning schemes are stifling the capacity of industry to bring new residential infrastructure to market quickly and at an affordable price. A commitment to streamline planning processes with an emphasis on efficiency must be adhered to by governments.”
Given that stamp duty can be levied up to three times in the construction of a new house land package, GST is paid on new homes but not existing homes, and infrastructure levies are excessively high in key markets; Mr Wolfe said there is a desperate need to overhaul the way Australia taxes residential buildings.