Last week, NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian announced that state debt has been wiped out for the first time in 20 years, bringing the state “back in the black” with a $4.7 billion surplus.
Property council NSW executive director, Jane Fitzgerald, said she believed this should be the trigger to reduce the costs that drive up housing prices, particularly state taxes, such as stamp duty.
The stamp duty take from property rose a “massive” 13.3 per cent in one year, she argued, with “a big chunk of this paid by first home buyers trying to get a foot into the property market”.
Speaking after the NSW government announcement, Ms Fitzgerald said: “In NSW, the government collects more than $32,000 in stamp duty revenue from a typical Sydney property. Ten years ago it collected $4,685 from the same property — that’s a 750 per cent increase. If you want to look at why Sydney house prices are sky-high, there’s a good place to start.
“The government’s own figures show they will reap $8.9 billion in stamp duty revenue in 2016-17.”
Ms Fitzgerald added that the Baird government’s introduction of additional taxes on foreign investment in the residential market this year “will stop many houses and apartments from getting built” as foreign investment “delivers between 15 and 25 per cent of new houses in this state”.
“With no debt and a strong surplus, why not provide some relief to the thousands of Sydneysiders trying to buy a home for their family and scrap the new foreign investment tax and have a fair dinkum look at a stamp duty reduction plan?” she rhetorically asked.
[Related: Housing price growth will “moderate”]