Radical plan to free up homes in one state

NSW Liberals
NSW Opposition Leader Mark Speakman has a plan that would free up homes for younger families. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

Stamp duty exemptions for downsizers and rewards for local councils who meet their housing targets have been proposed by the NSW opposition as a way to tackle the state’s housing crisis.

Giving his response to Labor’s budget, Opposition Leader Mark Speakman said incentivising older residents to downsize would increase housing stock for younger families, while a stamp duty exemption would help empty nesters find a future “suitable property”.

“We have an opportunity for one generation to support another, so these are some policies that will tackle supply, improve housing affordability and reduce the stress on rents,” he told the NSW lower house on Thursday.

“This will provide a carrot that our communities need to support the delivery of homes, to encourage empty nesters to downsize and free up appropriate housing supply for young families.”

NSW Liberals
Opposition Leader Mark Speakman said the Coalition would have offered downsizers stamp duty exemptions in order to increase housing supply. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Jeremy Piper,

Mr Speakman also proposed a $2bn fund split between Commonwealth funding and NSW’s $14bn windfalls from stamp duty, land tax, coal royalties and payroll taxes that would reward local councils for meeting their housing targets.

“We would engage with local councils and communities to review housing targets in line with the delivery of 314,000 homes across the state and a bonus target in line with the delivery of 378,000 homes in 2024 to 2029,” he said.

The Opposition Leader also criticised the government for taking profits from stamp duty and land tax while offering minimal cost-of-living benefits.

“The government expects to receive a $14bn tax revenue this year alone … but this revenue won‘t be spent on addressing the housing crisis or making housing more affordable,” Mr Speakman said.

“Instead, it will go towards rewarding union mates and paying for wage increases the Premier said would not cost one cent.”

Mr Speakman said more could be done to free up housing supply in NSW. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Max Mason-Hubers

Labor has proposed a $2.2bn housing and infrastructure fund that would go towards increasing housing supply.

The fund is comprised of three initiatives, including $300m for housing department Landcom to build an extra 4697 homes by 2039. This includes a 30 per cent target for social housing.

The Housing Infrastructure Fund was also given $400m to fund projects like roads, parks and sewers, and an additional $1.5bn has also been earmarked to build infrastructure like roads, parks, hospitals and schools across Sydney, the Lower Hunter, Central Coast and the Illawarra.

This stands as the state is severely behind its National Housing Accord targets that have tasked NSW with building 75,000 new homes every year.

On Wednesday, NSW Premier Chris Minns said the state had only delivered 48,000 completions over the last 12 months, and residents were being priced out of the market due to a lack of supply inflating house prices.

“The only way to ease housing prices is to ensure that we’ve got supply in the pipeline. We are committed to doing that,” he said.

“That means more urban consolidation, it means more building on transport lines (and) it means government committing infrastructure to essential parts of metropolitan Sydney in particular.”