20/05/2010 - 14:56

Budget: New office to focus on land

20/05/2010 - 14:56

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The state government appears to have acknowledged the looming issue of residential property supply, creating a new office charged with releasing more land for housing development.

Budget: New office to focus on land

The state government appears to have acknowledged the looming issue of residential property supply, creating a new office charged with releasing more land for housing development.

It is understood the key focus of the new Office of Land and Housing will initially be to bring a significant amount of government-owned land, notably in the inner city, onto the market.

There have been dire warnings of land supply shortages due to red tape pushing up property prices and reducing affordability.

The Western Australian Planning Commission recently revised its view of available lots of land for development down to 35,000 from 74,000. The Housing Industry Association estimates Australia is short of around 100,000 homes.

The new office will come under the responsibility of Planning Minister John Day who has already been working on reform of the approvals process which industry believes has become bogged down at local government level.

The budget papers show the Office of Land and Housing Supply will be established “for cross-agency coordination of land availability approval process, the collection of analytical data on land availability and affordability, and provide advice to Cabinet in respect to planning levers available to facilitate land supply”.

The state said the office will play a role in identifying impediments to the timely delivery of land and housing around the state.

The budget anticipates continued strength in the property market. Property taxes are forecast to be steady next financial year at almost $2.5 billion, jumping 11 per cent in 2011-12 and then rising steadily to $3.15 billion in 2013-14.

Last month, the Planning Commission has halved its estimate of the number of lots available for housing in Perth, as property industry leaders warn the state is not prepared for another surge in housing construction.

WAPC chairman Gary Prattley said the number of lots realistically available for housing development was about 35,000. The state government has previously estimated there are 74,000 lots available for development statewide.

 

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