NSW Foreign Purchaser Surcharges A Bad Move

By admin - June 14, 2016

Responding to news that the Baird Government is seeking to impose a 0.75 per cent land tax and a 4 per cent stamp duty surcharge on foreign investors, Pitcher Partners Sydney’s Scott McGill warned that NSW risks damaging its property industry.

“The surcharges on foreign investors are a backwards step for NSW,” said Scott McGill.

“Victoria has similar surcharges on absentee owners.

“And they’re already starting to see foreign investors pulling out of the market, with international developers scaling back on land acquisition.

“Combine that with a very tight lending market for developers and you run the real risk of restricting supply and pushing up real estate prices – which is the last thing Sydney needs.

“Government can’t afford to come in with a knee jerk reaction to foreign investment without considering the downstream effects. 

“It’s far too simplistic to say foreign investors are making access and affordability harder for NSW residents. Higher taxes on foreign investors will not improve housing affordability, but rather it will undermine new supply coming on board.”

Scott McGill also believes the Property Council was also right to say that NSW stands to lose its competitive advantage over Victoria when it comes to attracting foreign investment.

“Property is a key driver of economic growth in NSW. And with reports the market in Sydney at least is starting to cool, the Baird Government should realise that restricting foreign investment could exacerbate that exit of developers.

“Which is not only bad for housing affordability, but also for NSW’s continued economic growth.

“Property is a hotly contested sector, but it’s still the goose that lays the golden egg as far as economic growth is concerned, especially now that the mining boom has ended.

“It’s time for government to stop killing the goose.”

For further comment please contact:

Scott McGill, Partner, Pitcher Partners Sydney, 02 9228 7880
Sabine Wolff, Media and Communications Advisor, Pitcher Partners, 0419 529 577

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