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Australia's housing needs to be improved

By Steven Cross
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The Housing Industry Association has handed a new report to the government in a bid to improve Australia’s housing situation.

The report, which was undertaken by the Centre for International Economics, found the residential building industry is directly worth $70 billion to the Australian economy and is responsible for putting over 350,000 people into a new home each year.

“This new independent research now quantifies the impact of housing on the economy and concludes that a 1 per cent increase in productivity in the sector can boost the broader economy by a factor as high as 4.81,” HIA managing director Shane Goodwin said.

“Given the burden of red and green tape on the sector, itself a substantial weight on improvements to productivity, there is a large amount of economic gain that can be achieved through modest and targeted action by government.

“Similarly, for every dollar in taxation removed from housing construction, there is a return of $2.46 to the economy.

“This is a significant finding, as previous studies have shown that over 40 per cent of the cost of a new house and land package can be government taxes, levies and charges – which makes no sense in terms of providing affordable housing for the community or fostering a mobile workforce that can respond to the structural changes in the economy.

“Whether government is directly intervening through investing in affordable housing or providing incentives for new home buyers, or indirectly through tax reform and red tape reduction, investment in residential building will provide a significant return to the overall economy.”

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