As Sydney home prices peak, Minister promises relief

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Sydney property price panic has peaked: the average cost of a pad in Australia’s most populated city reached $1.1 million in the final quarter of 2016.

This makes it the second least affordable property market in the world, and means the great Australian dream is out of reach for many. (Side note: our competitive cousin, Victoria, gets it. They’ve just scrapped stamp duty for first home buyers, provided their property costs up to $600,000.)

In Sydney, renting isn’t looking so great either. A recently released CHOICE report showed 83% of renters in Australia have no fixed-term lease or are on a lease less than 12 months long, and 62% feel they’re not in a position to ask for longer term rental security.

It’s clear the government needs to do more to increase supply, thereby making housing more affordable. Newly appointed NSW Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts says he’s trying. In an interview with the Property Council of Australia, he said “Sydney now has the highest amount of released and rezoned greenfield stock since land release programs began in the early 1980s.”

And he’s not saying Balmain-dwellers should shuffle south to Bexley, for example:

“It’s important that those who service our community live near their jobs and families, and not just where they can afford.”

For Roberts’ vision to be realised, jobs, infrastructure and amenities need to be created throughout Sydney. The government’s Towards Our Greater Sydney 2056 plan will help this happen.

The plan, in recognising the significance of central and western Sydney, aims to create three distinct regional hubs: Eastern, Central and Western Sydney, with key designations in the CBD, Parramatta and (the proposed) Western Sydney Airport respectively.