Slomo's do nothing credo on housing sees first home buyers locked out of the market

10 March 2017

Todays ABS data shows that finance to housing investors has rocketed up by more than 27% over the last 12 months the largest annual increase since 2014.

This is the largest annual increase since the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) introduced its macro-prudential controls.

Meanwhile, the proportion of first home buyers in the market fell again in January (at 13.4 per cent) and remains near record lows.

Dealing with the housing affordability crisis and the current mix of investors and owner occupiers in the housing market is not just a matter of helping first home buyers get into the market, but its about reducing incentives which encourage investors to take on leverage and speculate leading to an inflating of house prices.

Last week the OECD, not for the first time, raised the alarm bells about Australias housing market, focusing specifically on Sydney and Melbourne, saying: "Macro financial indicators underline the threat for the housing market".

The Government has been receiving and ignoring these warnings for years, with its own Financial Systems Inquiry saying two years ago:

"The tax treatment of investor housing in particular tends to encourage leveraged and speculative investment and housing is a potential source of systemic risk for the financial system and the economy".

Any housing affordability package that excludes reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax discount, will be a complete sham and fail to deal with these risks in the housing market and Australian economy.