Housing platforms should be a key policy issue for this election

Residential building is one of the few sectors in a position to generate substantial economic activity in the wake of the mining boom.

New home building has a significant multiplier effect that drives activity throughout the wider economy.

Modelling demonstrates that for a 1% productivity increase in new home building - through cutting red tape or modernising the taxation system for example - the wider economy will benefit by around $1 billion.

Australia is currently building around 25,000 homes per year less than a decade ago, which is not only putting the brakes on job creation in the sector, but placing upward pressure on housing prices.

Housing affordability is consistently being nominated as one of the top few issues on the minds of voters, and there is clearly a great deal of angst amongst Australians about how the current and future generations will be able to afford a home.

HIA says that key areas for policy action to promote a revival in new home building include:

  • Reform the taxation system, including the removal of inefficient taxes on new housing

  • Reduction of the red and green tape burden that is choking small business

  • Improved funding mechanisms for residential related infrastructure

  • Better access to finance for home buyers and builders

  • Modernisation of the industrial relations system

Any party or candidate that goes into the federal election without a significant housing platform in their policy list is ignoring a key part of the economy and the concerns of millions of Australians.

Shane Goodwin is the Managing Director of the Housing  Industry Association.

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