MELBOURNE:- Very poor residential land sales have prompted fresh pleading for the construction industry by the Housing Industry Association today in ‘Land Sales Signal Slow Home Building Recovery’ as new home buyers remain unwilling to commit at current high land prices.

“My reading of the measures has overall land sales volumes continuing to weaken and land prices falling around the country,” David Collyer Campaign Manager Prosper Australia said today.

“I know this language is unwelcome to many, but it offers the eventual answer to our building troubles.

“Land affordability is strangling the entire Australian economy.

Money spent buying land cannot be spent on buildings

Residential land prices have been bid up by planning restrictions, excessive debt, rampant speculation, poor infrastructure and our very bad tax laws.

“The HIA is quite correct to be agitating about Australia’s low construction levels,” Collyer said. “This is a major employment sector whose economic importance is being highlighted by Treasury and government as the mining investment boom recedes.

Their pointing to land prices as the limiting factor should prompt government action to release more land, spend on transport links and boldly reform the tax system.

Simply removing Stamp Duty and funding this by also removing the principal place of residence exemption from State Land Tax would transform the equation for both builders and buyers.

“The economic case for this is well made by Dr Ken Henry in Australia’s Future Tax System. It would usher in an era of universal prosperity and, yes, house building.

Media contact: David Collyer 0413 248 193

About Prosper: Prosper Australia is a tax reform lobby group and think tank that is now 120 years old. It seeks to move the base of government revenues from taxing individuals and enterprise to capturing the economic rents of the natural endowment, notably through Land Value Tax and Mining Tax.