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Media Release

Media Release – Canberra Has A Land Affordability Problem, Not A Housing Affordability Problem


The Chief Minister’s explanation that Canberra’s affordability problem is due to Federal government policies lacks credibility.

Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins said, “It is undeniable that the ACT Government has the control of the major levers to deliver affordable land.”

“The ACT Government owns the raw land, it controls when land is released, it sets the sale price for new land and controls the design and approval of new suburbs,” he said.

Mr Hopkins said, “The ACT Government also chooses which developers purchase land for building new apartments while licensing all the builders and building certifiers that are responsible for building and certifying these buildings.”

“It is not accurate to describe Canberra’s affordability problem as a housing affordability problem. The ACT has a land affordability problem,” he said.

Mr Hopkins said, “Master Builders analysis shows that since 1970, the cost of land has increased 3.6 times the cost of building a house.”

“Land prices in the ACT that are above $1,000 per square metre are simply not sustainable,” he said.

Mr Hopkins said, “The Government’s land release policy has sent many Canberra families across the NSW border to purchase land and build their dream home.”

“According to CoreLogic’s August dwelling data, the median value of ACT’s dwelling values ($636,324) is higher than the combined Australian capitals ($633,745), and is fast approaching Melbourne ($667,520) which is second only to Sydney ($860,182) in the cost of housing,” he said.

Mr Hopkins said, “Based on analysis conducted by MBA Australia, if policies that the Federal ALP took to the last Federal election around negative gearing and capital gains tax had been implemented, in the ACT alone up to 900 new homes would not be built, the creation of new full time jobs in the building industry would be down 680 positions and the industry would take a hit of approximately $250 million over the next five years.”

Authorised by Michael Hopkins on behalf of Master Builders Association of the ACT.