Sydney's housing affordability crisis spreading to Central Coast and Illawarra: NSW Labor
NSW Labor has fired its first political shot of the new year with an assault on the Baird and Turnbull governments over housing affordability.
Acting Opposition Leader Michael Daley says the Australian dream of home ownership is "fast becoming a nightmare" in Sydney and nearby regions, with the metropolitan housing crisis now spreading to major centres north and south of Sydney, particularly the Central Coast and the Illawarra.
"It's a number one issue, its the dinner time conversation, they are talking about it in the pubs and clubs," Mr Daley told Fairfax Media, saying housing affordability was one of NSW Premier Mike Baird's "biggest policy failures".
"People are fleeing from Sydney down to the Illawarra and up to the Central Coast but they are generally armed with higher wages, so they are pricing the locals out of those areas and starting to inflate those property markets as well.
"Its a huge problem and it will lead to a brain drain – people with talent will not come and live in Sydney because they can't afford it, they will go to Melbourne and Brisbane instead."
Mr Daley said housing supply was still falling short of demand in NSW, but federal incentives on negative gearing and capital gains were also stoking rising prices.
"There is too much liquidity in the hands of too few people, first-home buyers are going to auctions and they are being outgunned every day of the week by investors armed with generous tax concessions courtesy of the Commonwealth," Mr Daley said.
However, NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes hit back, saying Labor had to accept blame for previous ALP governments presiding over years of under-investment in housing.
"NSW is experiencing the longest housing construction boom in the state's history, creating an unprecedented supply of new housing to restrain house price growth," Mr Stokes said.
Mr Daley called on Mr Baird to pressure federal colleagues over negative gearing and capital gains tax incentives for investors, while legislating for "serious and attainable" affordable rental housing targets.
In November, Mr Stokes broke ranks with his federal colleagues, blaming negative gearing tax breaks for worsening housing affordability in Sydney, and declaring the supply of new dwellings alone would not make property more affordable.
In late November at a speech at the National Press Club in Canberra, Mr Baird hedged his stance, saying that if modelling suggested negative gearing was affecting affordability then "of course that's something you should consider" but that "it does not mean I'm for or against the Turnbull government in their position".
The story Sydney's housing affordability crisis spreading to Central Coast and Illawarra: NSW Labor first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.