Treasurer announces inquiry into home ownership

by Julia Corderoy18 May 2015
A major housing association has welcomed the decision by Treasurer Joe Hockey to refer an inquiry on home ownership to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.

Ensuring strong levels of home ownership in the community should be an absolute priority for government, according to Housing Industry Association, managing director, Shane Goodwin.

“Home ownership is the bedrock of a stable, prosperous and fair society and can underpin a reasonable standard of living in retirement,” he said.

“The focus in the inquiry terms of reference on taxation is welcomed, as the disproportionately high tax burden on new home building is one prime reasons that many Australians that should be purchasing their first home, are not able to so.”

The proportion of first home buyers in Australia’s home loan market hit an 11-year low despite the overall home loan market reaching a record high, according to the latest housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

In a statement released by the House of Representatives Economics Committee, the inquiry will report on current rates of home ownership, demand and supply drivers in the housing market, the proportion of investment housing relative to owner-occupied housing, the impact of current tax policy at all levels and opportunities for reform.

“Home ownership is an issue that lies at the core of the Australian dream and represents the largest investment that most taxpayers will make during their lifetime. The importance of this issue throughout our nation makes it worthy of a detailed inquiry,” the Chair of the Committee, John Alexander said.

“Increasing housing supply must be the priority for all levels of government, which can only be achieved if the taxation burden on housing and red tape in the state planning systems are addressed,” Goodwin added.