Action needed on NSW vacancy rates

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As vacancy rates tumble in Sydney and Newcastle, the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW) has called for the state’s politicians to come up with a clear strategy to deal with the state’s ongoing rental squeeze.

Rental vacancies in Sydney fell by 0.4% to hit 1.1% in February, according to REINSW figures, whilst Newcastle saw a fall of 0.6% (1.4%).

The Hunter region as a whole saw vacancies drop by 1% to 1.2%, and Illawarra saw a fall of 0.3% (1.4%).

With the NSW election less than a week away, REINSW president Wayne Stewart has criticised both the Labor and Liberal parties for failing to provide clear policies outlining how to increase rental stock and improve housing affordability in the state.

“Unfortunately both Labor and Liberal are asleep at the wheel when it comes to tackling the housing affordability and availability crisis gripping NSW,” said Stewart.

“In the absence of action, the crisis in housing affordability and availability is having significant negative impacts on the future prospects of NSW both economically and socially.”

One such impact, claims Stewart, is that NSW could see a flood of refugees flee the state in search of more affordable living conditions elsewhere in the country.

“The rental crisis is a direct result of an inadequate, expensive and complex planning system, and an inequitable property tax regime including high rates of cascading stamp duties and the raft of other imposts including land tax; and the recently introduced ‘ad valorem’ tax,” said Stewart.

“All of these factors collectively discourage people from investing in the private rental market.”


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