BIS Shrapnel’s claim that residential rents in Sydney will rise by 40% over the next four years, coupled with the Real Estate Institute of NSW’s own Vacancy Rate Survey showing that rental properties in the city are scarcer than at any time in the past six years, should be ringing alarm bells in Macquarie Street, REINSW President Cristine Castle said today.
Mrs Castle said the lack of investment incentives for residential housing by the NSW Government is creating a housing crisis.
“With extraordinarily low vacancy rates in Sydney and strong growth regional centres like Albury and Dubbo, where vacancy rates are as low as 2% and 1.3% (respectively), affordable accommodation will become a thing of the past unless the Iemma Government acts now to encourage investment in residential investment property,” Mrs Castle said.
The REINSW’s latest Vacancy Rate Survey shows that the availability of inner Sydney residential property is an exceptionally low 1.6%, while the rate for the middle Sydney is 1.5% and the availability of rental properties in the outer suburbs is only 2%.
“Overall the vacancy rate in Sydney is 1.7%, which is the lowest in six years and it is still trending downwards,” Mrs Castle said.
“If the Iemma Government continues to sit on its hands Sydney will soon have to put up the ‘No Vacancy’ sign.”
Mrs Castle said the NSW Government had to urgently reduce Land Tax on residential properties that provide low cost housing and do more to assist families by increasing the First Home Buyers Grant and providing more Stamp Duty relief to over 65s.
“Recycling the housing stock by helping older Australian’s buy smaller, newer and safer homes does not only give them greater quality of life, it also makes larger homes available for younger families and makes better use of urban infrastructure like schools and facilities that families desperately need.”
Mrs Castle said the Real Estate Institute of NSW had been warning the NSW Government about the looming rental affordability crisis for more than a year but the information had fallen on deaf ears and nothing had been done.
“Families need somewhere to live and affordable housing must be a priority for all Governments,” Mrs Castle said.
“To ease the situation will take time, however, families and individuals are running out of time and how desperate does the situation have to get before proactive policies are put in place?”
“The Iemma Government needs to act now,” she said.