An article summarising the National Housing Conference in Sydney yesterday called for all the usual policy reforms: cull negative gearing & First Home Owners Grants, reform capital gains tax and rent assistance. ‘These are measures that add to demand for housing without boosting supply’ says AHURI researcher Tony Burke. Thankyou Tony, we have been pushing this for years.

Why do journalists talk about supply side reforms but refuse to go into detail? The biggest supply side issue is Land Banking, with speculation on the right to a roof over our head curtailing future generations’ freedom. Meals are skipped to pay the rent, but land is in effect wasted and often left idle through speculative motifs. Tim Colebatch earlier this week told us just one in twelve dollars borrowed for housing is going into building new housing. We have calculated huge speculative vacancies that are under-reported.

The ultimate supply side reform is not unending urban sprawl forever. We need to switch taxes off our productive work and onto the speculation in resources, with a Site Rental on land ensuring that speculative activities are curtailed.