Fifteen new priority precincts around Inner Western, South West and Northern Sydney have been announced in a move to combat the city’s housing affordability crisis and assist first home buyers.
The new precincts are all located nearby public transport and have been identified as having broad social, economic and environmental significance to their respective communities.
With 78,000 new homes in the pipeline to be built in these areas, the NSW Government expects to minimise housing prices and increase lifestyle flexibility. State Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, expressed his optimism about the future for Sydney residents with these plans in place.
Roberts told the Property Council of Australia that increasing the supply of housing around transport hubs will assist in the quest to make housing more affordable. He explained that the release of more land for housing will mean Sydneysiders have access to a wider range of homes that suit different needs, budgets and lifestyle choices, in turn helping affordability.
The news will be welcomed by Sydney locals, with housing prices soaring to record costs over the last few years. The current median price for a Sydney home is reported to be $1,151,565; over $500,000 dearer than in 2013.
The Government has shown their intent to have communities be an integral part of the planning process for the new precincts, scheduling drop-in events where the public can learn more about the developments as well as contribute and voice their opinions.
In addition to announcing the new precinct areas, numerous other changes have been made in a bid to prioritise first home buyers.
Included is the abolishment of all stamp duty for first home buyers on existing and new homes up to $650,000, and stamp duty discounts up to $800,000, effective July 1. In the past stamp duty deductions have only been eligible on new houses.
Also added is the doubling of foreign investor surcharges, up from 4 per cent to 8 per cent on stamp duty, and 0.75 per cent to 2 per cent on land tax. Stamp duty concessions for investors purchasing off the plan have also been revoked.
The alterations come as first home ownership has tumbled to new lows. Traditionally, 18 per cent of NSW’s housing market has been comprised of first home buyers. That figure has now fallen to just 5 per cent, as potential first home owners are beaten to the punch by investors who now own a 50 per cent stranglehold on the market.
The Government intends to continue implementing new strategies to solve the issue. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a public question forum that while there is “no overnight solution”, their focus will remain on supporting first home buyers with better targeted grants and delivering more infrastructures to support the faster construction of new homes.
Berejiklian also championed the new priority precincts and buyer terms changes, describing the package as a “huge boost”.
Full list of newly designated priority precinct areas:
- Belmore and Lakemba;
- Burwood, Strathfield and Homebush;
- Campsie and Canterbury;
- Frenchs Forest;
- Leppington Town Centre;
- Schofields Town Centre;
- Seven Hills and Wentworthville;
- St Leonards and Crows Nest;
- Turrella and Bardwell Park; and
McSSA provides independent pre-purchase property valuations for home buyers in Sydney.