Make Housing Great Again: Our five point plan to rejuvenate the housing sector and improve affordability

Master Builders SA today released its five point plan to rejuvenate the housing sector and help more first home buyers get into the market.

Chief Executive Ian Markos said a persistent decline in building approvals demanded immediate reforms to protect jobs across the industry.

“Master Builders SA is deeply concerned by latest ABS statistics that show the trend estimate for the total number of private sector houses in South Australia has decreased for ten consecutive months.

“671 homes were approved in August, the lowest number since May last year.

“There are levers the government can pull to increase demand. Our five point plan, Make Housing Great Again, will promote confidence in the housing industry and support the aspirations of young South Australians’ dream of home ownership.”

The five key recommendations are:

  • A stamp duty exemption for first home buyers on new builds up to the median house price;
  • Abolishing the requirement to have a rainwater tank;
  • A Productivity Commission review of all taxes and charges related to land and property development;
  • Increasing the existing First Home Owner Grant to $20,000 in regional South Australia;
  • Ensuring planning reforms promote economic growth, not threaten housing affordability.

Mr Markos said that the recommendations were based on what had been proven to work in other states.

“The ABS has attributed the strong growth in loans to first home buyers to changes to first home buyer incentives made by the New South Wales and Victorian governments last year.

“The $19,830 tax on a median home becomes a $60,000 plus noose with interest over the duration of their mortgage.

“If South Australia introduced a stamp duty exemption and removed the requirement to have a rainwater tank, these two policies alone would mean the average first home buyer would not have to borrow approximately $25,000.

“This would be a powerful incentive for young people to remain and invest in South Australia.”