Property policies are a headline issue for the NSW state election, with voters going to the polls this weekend. Smart Property Investment has broken down the headline issues which could impact your investment in NSW.
One of the two major parties this election, the NSW branch of the Labor Party has two policies that could affect an investor’s portfolio: the removal of no grounds evictions and making homes more affordable.
The platform to end no grounds evictions, according to NSW opposition leader Michael Daley’s election website, is based on the fact that home ownership for 25 to 34-year-olds was at 39 per cent in the 2014 census, so those who do not own a home and rent are vulnerable to no grounds evictions.
“Tenants who have asked for basic repairs or questioned rent increases have been subject to no-fault, retaliatory evictions from landlords,” Mr Daley’s website reads.
In an attempt to making housing more affordable, the core policy decision that would impact portfolios is the implementation of a 15 per cent affordable housing mandate on privately developed land, which will see 15 per cent of new dwellings or floor space designated to be “affordable housing”.
This 15 per cent will be made available for rent or sale for low- to moderate-income households and, if elected, would occur during the party’s first term in government.
The NSW Liberal Party's infrastructure policies have a direct impact on the state's property market.
According to its blueprint, the NSW government's 10-year pipeline includes upgrades of arterial roads, such as the M5 through Sydney's South-West and the M4 to Sydney's west.
Public transport infrastructure, largely in Sydney, is also being boosted. This includes the Light Rail project through Sydney.
Western Sydney airport, with the federal government's backing. is also set for development after several years of delays.
Most notably, the Liberal Party has been pushing ahead with its 'Metropolis of Three Cities' vision for Sydney, which includes bulking up the spend and infrastructure development in Sydney's West and South-West.
The NSW branch of the Greens proposes 40 different policies based on housing, which can be divided into social and affordable housing, the private rental market and home ownership and access to housing.
Policies in the social and affordable housing section that could impact portfolios include a “significant” increase in units of subsidies housing stock and giving tenants more participation in decisions about their housing.
In the private rental market section, Greens NSW is advocating for giving tenants more legislative rights, more housing stock for workers and students, making rent increases more in line with the Consumer Price Index (with exceptions for value-adds), minimum standards for ceiling insulation and roof venting, and restricting approved dwellings for visitor accommodation in tourist hotspots to allow for housing stock for permanent residents.
Under home ownership and access to housing, first home buyers would be focused on, rather than “speculative investors”.
However, yet the policy also focuses on those who purchase “their first property but do not intend to live in it” — which can be interpreted as first-time investors.
Other policies in this section include not advocating for a first home owners grant “as it results [in] inflationary impacts on housing prices”, as well as advocating for the removal of barriers of those moving house “rather than providing incentives for speculative investment in the housing market”.
Keep Sydney Open
While the Keep Sydney Open Party’s primary focus is on ending the lockout laws in the capital city, the party has a wide berth of other policies.
The policies that could impact property investors, labeled as Fairer and More Affordable by the party, include the protection of tenants and ending no grounds evictions, incentivising landlords to lease properties to low-income earners at affordable rates and tightening regulation of the property development industry.
Liberal Democratic Party
As published previously, the Liberal Democratic Party and lead candidate David Leyonhjelm are advocating for the removal of all kinds of stamp duty.
“If you buy bonds or shares — in fact, almost any other asset — they’re relatively liquid in terms of being able to buy and sell them,” Mr Leyonhjelm previously told Smart Property Investment.
“When you invest in property, there’s a very large barrier particularly to buying it, and you can sell it, but if then you want to buy another asset, you’re faced with additional taxation.
“The end result is people hold onto property assets for longer than they would if they were more liquid; people are deterred from investing in property more often than they would be if it was more liquid and the financial barriers were lower.”
One Nation has one main policy that could impact property: the opposition of full foreign ownership of Australian land and assets.
“Foreign ownership of established housing must be investigated, with illegally purchased properties seized,” the party’s website reads.
Among many policies, Sustainable Australia has two policies that could shape portfolios: tax reform for housing, and changing planning and development.
Under tax reform, Sustainable Australia is focusing on ending capital gains tax and negative gearing concessions, stopping foreign purchases of properties, improving bank lending practices and giving renters more rights.
The party’s planning and development-related policies include giving more powers to local communities about planning decisions and increasing developer charges for land value gains.
The Small Business Party
Focused mainly on assisting small business, The Small Business Party recently introduced Gary Adamson, director of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, so it is not too far of a stretch to say there is someone within the party with a solid grasp on the property industry.
The party’s two major policies that could impact property investors are the removal of land tax and the elimination of stamp duty.
“If we remove the burden of land tax from NSW, we reduce the overheads necessary for businesses to operate, but also assist with housing affordability for families and communities,” The Small Business Party’s website reads.
“This is another tax on property in NSW, which is already heavily and unfairly taxed.
“Land tax also does not account for changes in the property market across NSW. Residential rents are falling while land tax stays the same (or INCREASES) — punishing mum and dad investors and self-funded retirees.”
As for the removal of stamp duty, The Small Business Party’s stance focuses on stamp duty in the property market in order to address the lack of affordable housing in Sydney.
Their plan is five-fold, tackling stamp duty reform, self-funded retiree and pensioner transfer duty reform, land release and housing construction reform, community infrastructure investment reform and environment and planning legislation reform.