The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue has commenced an inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia.

The committee will inquire into and report on the contribution of tax and regulation on housing affordability and supply, that is:

  • Examine the impact of current taxes, charges and regulatory settings at a Federal, State and Local Government level on housing supply;
  • Identify and assess the factors that promote or impede responsive housing supply at the Federal, State and Local Government level; and
  • Examine the effectiveness of initiatives to improve housing supply in other jurisdictions and their appropriateness in an Australian context.

The chair of the committee, Mr Jason Falinski MP, stated that:

As data provided by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the Treasury and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows, home ownership, one of the building blocks of Australian society, has been falling for the last 30 years. In my view, this represents an urgent moral call for action by governments of all levels to restore the Australian dream for this generation and the ones that follow.

Arguments about the impact of increased subsidies and tax concessions on housing have continued for some time. There is ample evidence that points to the small effect such measures have on supply, indeed the research points to limitations on land and restrictive planning laws as the major causes of shortages in supply. As consistently noted by the RBA and others, regulatory settings are directly responsible for the unresponsive nature of housing supply in Australia.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted an analysis of Australia’s housing market, particular its very high ratio of housing prices to household incomes. The OECD concluded that Australia’s unusually high level of inelasticity in housing is the major driver of this ratio. This has resulted in our country having the fourth-fastest house price growth out of the world’s advanced economies over the past 20 years.

This is best demonstrated by the following fact: total residential private building approvals decreasing 44% across the nation from 2016 – 2020 compared to the previous five-year period according to the ABS. While market supply has collapsed with new home listings down to record lows according to Core Logic using the most recent five-year average.

It is with this context that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue will investigate the impact of tax and regulatory regimes on price, affordability, and supply of housing in Australia today as well as into the future.

Submissions from interested individuals and organisations are invited by Monday 13 September 2021.

Further information available here.


Comments are closed.