LABOR CALLS ON PREMIER BEREJIKLIAN TO ACT ON HOUSING AFFORDABILITY CRISIS AS NEW FIGURES SHOW INVESTORS ON THE RAMPAGE

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian must immediately press the case with her federal colleagues to reform negative gearing as Labor obtains new evidence of the imbalance between investors and first home buyers in Sydney’s housing market. 

In just three years the number of NSW residential properties that have been bought by investors to rent out has grown by 61 per cent, according to a NSW Labor Freedom of Information request. The majority of these are likely to be in Sydney.

The figures from the Office of State Revenue show a rampant Sydney investor market with the average number of transactions for properties bought specifically to rent rising from 1,660 a month in 2013 to 2,670 in 2016.

Meanwhile, the number of first home buyers as a percentage of total transactions has plummeted from 18 per cent to 8 per cent since 2011, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  

Despite mounting evidence of Sydney's housing affordability crisis deepening, Premier Berejiklian is refusing to call on Malcolm Turnbull and federal Treasurer Scott Morrison to adopt Labor’s negative gearing reforms which will put home buyers on a level playing field with investors.

Instead the Premier is sticking to the tried and largely failed strategy of relying on supply of new housing stock alone to solve the massive structural problem. Furthermore she is even refusing to believe that there is a crisis, telling ABC Radio National Breakfast on Wednesday:  “No, I wouldn’t say it’s a crisis yet.”

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley and Federal Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen are calling on the Premier to lobby Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison to urgently move on negative gearing and adopt Labor’s policy. 

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Premier Berjekilian’s mantra is that supply is the only solution. That strategy has failed families in Sydney who are trying to get a roof over their heads.

“Sydney is less affordable than New York or London and yet the Premier doesn’t think there is a housing affordability crisis.

“If the Premier is really serious about helping people to buy their first home - as she has claimed - then she has to embrace new solutions such as reforming negative gearing.

“I urge the Premier to use her influence with her Sydney Liberal colleagues Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison to deliver on her promise and level the playing field for first home buyers.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Federal Treasurer Chris Bowen MP

"Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison need the courage to again take on the ‘excesses’ of negative gearing. We know they got rolled by their own Cabinet when they tried for reform early in 2016.

"The former NSW Premier and Planning Minister have called for a consideration of reform. Even today, two of Malcolm Turnbull's own backbenchers have called for it to be looked at.

"The Prime Minister and the new Premier need to once and for all, standup for Australians and Sydneysiders in particular, and move for a comprehensive set of housing affordability measures with reform to negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount at its centrepiece."