The failure of the major parties to address skyrocketing housing prices will see inner-city electorates move to the Greens, Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP has said, ahead of a major housing affordability forum in the close-fought electorate of Griffith, one of the Greens’ priority seats this election.
At the forum, the Greens will launch the party’s three point plan to reverse the country’s housing crisis - announcing their plans to wind back unfair tax breaks (negative gearing and capital gains tax discount), in addition to capping rents rises, and building a million affordable homes.
Despite being a key cost of living issue affecting young people, both the Liberals and Labor oppose changes to discriminatory tax regimes that disproportionately support housing investors, not aspiring homeowners.
The Greens are proposing property investors be limited to negatively gearing a single home. A distributional analysis commissioned by the Greens shows that 57% of negative gearing deductions go to the top 20% of income earners. A gender analysis reveals, of this group, 72% of these deductions go to men. Additionally, the figures reveal that the top 28% most prolific investors own over half (51%) of all investment properties.
This investor-driven demand has pushed housing out of reach for most. Brisbane saw a record 27.8% increase over the past 12 months, the city’s biggest house price increase since ABS reporting began.
This hasn’t been isolated to prospective purchasers. Rents have shot up 12.9% in the Queensland capital since 2021, compounding a worsening cost of living crisis and placing further roadblocks in front of young people saving for a deposit. One in two Griffith voters rent.
The Greens’ policy being launched grandfathers negative gearing arrangements to existing investment properties, and then progressively phases out negative gearing for any taxpayer’s second and above investment property over 5 years. The 1.6m people with only 1 investment property would not be affected by the Greens’ plan.
The Greens’ plan would also remove the 50 per cent capital gains discount for individuals. Instead, an asset’s cost base would be indexed by changes in the consumer price index as part of calculating the capital gain at the time of sale.
The plan would raise $62.9b over the next decade, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office. The Greens’ policy to build 1 million affordable homes over the coming years for both rental and purchase (via equity share) will cost $22.9b over the decade. Labor has dumped its previous policy of negative gearing and capital gains tax reform.
Lines attributable to Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:
“Brisbane is becoming a tale of two cities. One Brisbane where property investors are making millions off of limited housing, and another where people are struggling to keep a roof over their head. People are rightly furious,” Mr Bandt said.
“Whether you’re hoping to buy your first home or have resigned yourself to renting forever, few issues resonate more with young people around Griffith than the housing affordability crisis.
“This cooked housing market isn’t an accident. It’s the result of years of Liberal and Labor making it easier for property investors to buy their seventh home than for young people to buy their first.
“It will be Liberal and Labor’s decision to back wealthy property investors over renters and first home buyers that could see Griffith shift to the Greens for the first time. While Liberal and Labor give $63 billion to investors and the wealthy and push house prices out of reach, the Greens see a future where everyone can own their own home.
“By kicking the Liberals out and winning Griffith, the Greens will push the next government to abolish the generous handouts to property investors with more than one investment property so that everyone can afford to buy a home to call their own.
“By winding back handouts to investors with more than one investment property, the Greens will raise billions to build affordable homes that people can buy into for $300,000 and public housing that people can rent for 25% of their income.”
Lines attributable to Greens Candidate for Griffith, Max Chandler-Mather:
"Brisbane is in the middle of the worst housing affordability crisis in its history and it's only going to get worse if governments fail to act,” Mr Chandler-Mather said.
"Because of negative gearing it's often easier for someone to buy their fifth home rather than their first, and that is deeply unfair.
"I've lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had with couples who had to abandon their plans to buy a home last year because the cost of a deposit alone increased by $33,000, and that's more than almost anyone can save.
"Excessive rent increases are driving people out of their homes, breaking up communities and placing massive pressure on renters.
"Phasing out negative gearing and capping rent increases will help ensure we treat housing first and foremost as a home, not a speculative commodity for large investors."
"If Labor and the Liberals are serious about tackling the cost of living crisis, then they should support the Greens plan to cap rent increases and ensure families don't have to choose between paying the rent or buying groceries."