Property Australia

Sukkar in session: A summary

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA April 5, 2022

Federal Housing Minister The Hon Michael Sukkar MP has told an online Property Council member briefing that the "status quo" regarding housing supply has to end, and wished he had more levers to pull to address it.

Sukkar said one of his frustrations as Housing Minister was how “few levers [the Federal Government] have with respect to supply”, despite it being a key solution to many of the issues the housing market faces.

“We have to demand of our state and territory governments, and by extension local governments an explanation as to how they are going to facilitate the housing task ahead,” he told the virtual forum on Tuesday.

“The status quo at the moment, which is we are under water in any given year by 20,000 dwellings, and they just accumulate…. I think accepting that has to end.

“The research unit in NHFIC and the Population Centre are designed to demystify what’s the task ahead, by region, by state, and then put the challenge of those state and territories as to what their plan is to meet it.”

Sukkar said people need to hold their governments accountable for housing supply and reward those that make the “hard decisions, but the necessary decisions to increase housing supply”.

“Any state or territory government that wants to do that will have my wholehearted support,” he told the virtual briefing of Property Council members held in the lead up to the election.

Supply issues were highlighted in a recent report from the National Housing Finance & Investment Corporation.

The body, which received a $2 billion funding boost in the budget, discovered that Australia will be 20,000 dwellings short per year until 2032, on average.

The Federal Government announced an expansion to the Home Guarantee Scheme in last week's budget, making an additional 50,000 seats available each year.

35,000 spots each year are to be made available to first home buyers to purchase a new or existing home with a deposit as low as five per cent and 5,000 placements for single parents with children to buy a home with a deposit as a little as two per cent per year.

Also in the budget was the Regional Home Guarantee, which will supply 10,000 guarantees per year to support those looking to purchase a new home in regional areas.

Sukkar said the expansions were a “significant factor in the budget”.

“Importantly, our regional 10,000 places only applied to new stock, either newly constructed or those who are building themselves,” he said.

“We recognise in those regional areas the market is so tight, that it had to be a measure that simultaneously dealt with the deposit hurdle for buyers, but also led to an increase in stock in those regions as opposed to just cannibalizing the stock that was existing.

“The last thing we need is to be pumping more buyers into regional Australia without an increase in stock levels.”

Mr Sukkar says the Regional Home Guarantee is open to permanent residents to align with the government’s regionalisation agenda and various immigration policies.