ANZ says regulation adding to house pressures

The ANZ Bank says inappropriate government regulation is one of the causes of unaffordable housing in Australia.

Chief executive Phillip Chronican says a shortage of land releases means Australians are paying some of the world’s highest prices for real estate, comparable to Hong Kong and Singapore.

He says governments need to refrain from short-term policies that only add to demand, like the first home owners grant in 2009.

“If we really wanted to help people into homes, we should be addressing the supply-side issue, not further exacerbate the demand-side pressures,” he said.

“Governments might want to look at whether or not the current extent of tax breaks that are available for housing investment foster an unhealthy focus on housing as an investment vehicle and compound affordability issues.”

Mr Chronican says now would be a good time to make changes with house prices high and the economy on a relatively firm footing.

“I want you to keep in mind how much governments at all levels take from capital gains tax, stamp duties and property taxes and rates and so on,” he said.

“At the local level, there is a risk here that governments may be somewhat conflicted in making changes that might achieve a more moderate or affordable outcome for housing.”

Source: ABC News


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