One of the lead articles in this edition of Newslink highlights the growing cost of residential land, despite the reality that typical home sites keep getting smaller. This should be a central feature of the ongoing discussion about housing affordability. The question is: why is it so expensive to create allotments for new dwellings in our major cities? Politicians who pretend to care about housing affordability never pose this question, much less answer it, because this would point the finger of blame squarely at politicians at all levels. The costs of producing home sites are ridiculously high because of the bureaucratic overlay created by government, the lengthy delays that are inherent in the system, and the many different taxes, fees and charges that are imposed on the process by all three levels of government. The worst culprit in the regard is the NSW State Government, which is why the median price for residential land is Sydney is roughly double what is in Brisbane or Melbourne. As long as local, state and federal governments go on treating the housing industry as a convenient cash cow, land will continue to rise in price and housing affordability will remain a problem without solutions.
by Terry Ryder
Australia’s Leading Independent Property Researcher