South Wales, Australia’s largest state, needs to reform its planning system to boost the supply of homes; otherwise, the state is on track to experience major housing shortages in the second half of this decade, reads a newly released report by the New South Wales Productivity Commission (NSW).
The White Paper of the Productivity Commission 2021, entitled ‘Reboot the Economy’, made 60 recommendations to lift the state’s long-term productivity and economic growth, which they said would ‘lead to higher wages and better quality services for all’.
The economic modeling in the 370-page report indicates that these reforms could increase gross government product by two percent per year by 2041. That equates to a $ 19.4 billion increase in dollars today – the equivalent of every NSW citizen over the age of 15 receiving an extra $ 2,000 a year.
Among the four foundations that strengthen the new productivity agenda is the improvement of home choice and affordability, which is estimated to bring in an extra $ 5 billion in productivity.
The article argues that the state’s housing supply since 2006 has not been in line with the state’s need for the merger and locations. It is also noted that the undersupply is expected to double to 100,000 in 2038, with a millennial exodus from their parental home. Despite current levels, the supply is not showing up fast as fewer children move out of the home due to the declining affordability of housing.
Statistics cited in the article show that the proportion of young adults living with their parents in NSW rose from 23.6 per cent in 2010 to 32.4 per cent in 2018, a trend we have not seen in Melbourne and Brisbane do not have.
The commission blames strict planning restrictions for persistent undersupply and rising prices, arguing that over-regulation hinders the ability of developers to build where people want to live and increases construction costs.
“One of the fundamental determinants of housing supply in New South Wales is the strict regulation of land use,” the article reads. “The planning system applies a variety of regulations to determine where and how much new housing can be built. It also regulates many features of new homes and building methods. These strict restrictions limit the choice and allow people with less income to spend on other goods and services.
In addition, a lengthy approval process also holds back the housing supply. Statistics show that some types of property development take twice as long to be approved in NSW as the next slowest condition, and the average time for approval increased from 2015 to 2015 to 18 to 59 days.
While the commission called for reforms to encourage local councils to approve more housing, the commission stressed the benefit of increasing the building’s density, reducing the minimum area requirement for flats and facilitating the parking ratio. Other proposed amendments include streamlining the approval process and setting population growth targets for individual councils.
NSW Executive Director Jane Fitzgerald welcomed the White Paper and said it was critical to recognize that the planning system needs to do better to address the affordability crisis.
“This comprehensive list of recommendations contains some key reinforcements that should loosen the knots in the planning system and speed up processes to benefit the economy and release the homes our state so desperately needs,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. . statement.
However, some economists are not convinced that the reform of planning systems is the key to improving the supply of housing and affordability of housing.
Cameron Murry, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Henry Halloran Trust at the University of Sydney, criticized the White Paper’s recommendations as ‘completely misleading’ because it blamed the current high house prices at the feet of the planning system.
“Planning regulates where different types of development can take place, but the market decides how fast to build,” Murray told The Epoch Times on June 4, referring to the boom in construction during the period from 2013 to 2017 and the recent record-breaking freestanding home building activities. follow the HomeBuilder stimulus as examples that show the market dynamics.
Murry explained that the current household boom coupled with the rapid price rises is partly a cyclical phenomenon, but that it is also fueled by record low interest rates.
He believes that the private housing market alone will not be able to address the affordable issue, as access to finance and job security continue to make an unequal option across society.
” An important reform, if governments want to be serious about offering cheap and safe housing to citizens, is to hire a public housing provider who builds and sells new homes to those who do not own a home at cost price , ‘he said.
He adds that there are also ways for the public housing system to achieve cost neutrality, such as acquiring powers for land, using underutilized public land, restoring the construction costs of buyers and making a margin on mortgage lending. .