NSW Labor has announced the latest policy step to level the playing field for the State’s first home buyers.

A Foley Labor Government will lift surcharges for foreign investors on residential homes – to dampen the pressure they exert on housing prices.

A Foley Labor Government will also strongly support the negative gearing changes proposed by Federal Labor to help young families buy their first home.

The foreign investor decision is the latest in a suite of key policy measures to assist the many families – who have found it harder than ever under the Liberal Government to buy their first home.

It comes as latest data shows the number of properties bought by foreign investors outstrips the number of first home buyers. Data from the Office of State Revenue shows that in the three months from July to September 2016, foreign nationals accounted for 11 per cent – or 2995 - of residential property purchases in NSW compared to 7.51 per cent by first home buyers.

Of the current Foreign Investor Surcharges Labor will:

  • Raise the Foreign Investor Stamp Duty Surcharge from 4 per cent to 7 per cent; and
  • Double the Land Tax Surcharge from 0.75 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

This will put NSW in line with Victoria, reduce the pressures created by foreign investors in the market – and make room for First Home Buyers.

Mr Foley says this is a costed, practical and designed policy to help young struggling families – not subsidise well-heeled investors – locally and from overseas.

Quotes Attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

This policy is well thought through and costed – with one intention only – to make housing affordable in New South Wales. We’re levelling the playing field.

“This is just the next stage of what will be a comprehensive and smart approach to housing affordability.

“Evidence suggests a surcharge on foreign investors will take some pressure off house prices and go a way to levelling the playing field for first home buyers.

“Under our policy local families will get a fairer crack of getting into the housing market.”

Quotes Attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park

“We’ve identified some of the key areas causing prices to spiral out of control. It is the kind of prudent, applied economic policy NSW needs.

“The NSW Liberals approach housing affordability from the direction of helping investors and their developer mates. We’re on the side of people who want to buy their homes, and who are blocked at every stage by hostile Government policies.”