New NSW government praised for ‘clear direction’ when it comes to property

Newly elected Premier Chris Minns’ pledge to address NSW’s critical housing supply problems has been commended by the state’s peak real estate body as a step in the right direction.

Tim McKibbin, chief executive officer at the Real Estate of NSW (REINSW), believes the strategy will provide consumers with hope of controlling the housing crisis following over a decade where “housing policy in NSW amounted to populist announcements which focus on the symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself.”

He explained the need to maintain levels of supply which match demand was “always apparent,” adding the news will come as a relief for all NSW property stakeholders, particularly renters, many of whom stand in queue with countless other people to inspect the same property.

Mr McKibbin stated these individuals possess a “clear idea of what the problem is: a lack of choice.”

Following an election campaign littered with property promises proposed by the member for Kogarah, including proposals to overhaul stamp duty and plans to embark on a pilot build-to-rent project on the state’s south coast, Mr Minns’ promises highlight “clear direction from the NSW government that the status quo is longer acceptable.”

Also on the agenda of the first NSW Labor government in over a decade, which recently swore in its complete ministry, is shutting the door on controversial rent caps.

In welcoming this announcement from the government, Mr McKibbin explained, “The evidence clearly shows that the consistent erosion of the rights of landlords deters investment and drives existing landlords out of the market.”

“Banning ‘no-grounds’ terminations and other anti-landlord moves have diminished the supply of rental property, meaning tenants have ever fewer choices,” he said, adding “with increased supply, any apparent ‘need’ for Parliamentary intervention into the further erosion of landlords’ rights will evaporate.”

The Minns government stated their plan focuses on re-balancing Sydney’s population growth back toward the east, easing pressure of the swiftly growing west, increasing density around transport nodes, and removing development approval red tape.

Mr McKibbin highlighted the latter as a major barrier contributing to the state’s housing crisis, airing concerns at “the fact it can take council longer to approve a development than it takes to physically build the property,” something that he feels “highlights the absurdity of the planning system.”

Compared to other states, where consent authorities can grant approval for new projects within a reasonable time frame, the REINSW leader called on NSW councils to “lift their game and do likewise.”

“They must be made accountable to deliver the housing targets needed in their jurisdictions so that the people they are meant to be serving have roofs over their heads,” he added.

Mr McKibbin concluded these proposals represent an “important first step to addressing the housing supply crisis.” 

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