Federal treasurer Scott Morrison has suggested Australians should move to regional cities, like Tamworth, if they want to buy a property.
Morrison said that curbing negative gearing was a “ridiculous” way of bringing down house prices, explaining that it would simply drive up rents.
“The reason why prices go up in a market like Sydney and Melbourne… is when you get too many people wanting to buy, and not enough stock,” he told 2GB.
“I don’t just see how an increase in your rent improves housing affordability, particularly if you’re renting
The proposal that “you put up a tax and somehow you can buy a house anywhere you like, that’s a lie,” he said.
Morrison suggested people should consider moving to regional cities like Tamworth, Australia’s country music capital, if they want to buy a house.
“For young people who are thinking about, can I buy a house in Sydney, or can I buy a house in Melbourne or Brisbane, or things like that, now there is an option if people want to take it in places like Tamworth,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean they have to, but it’s important that these towns can say to people, you can have a future here, and there’s a great future for families in Tamworth.”
His call seems to support a new campaign launched earlier this month by Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce called “Get out of the city”, which seeks to relocate government agencies out of major cities.
Joyce has forced the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and 175 public servants to relocate from Canberra to Armidale in his electorate.
But a cost benefit analysis of the move by EY found that the move would cut the capital’s economy by $155 million annually and the ACT region 365 direct and indirect jobs, as well as costing millions in redundancy payouts to staff who refused to move 475km and a six hour drive from Sydney.
Three years after the move to Armidale, the relocation is expected to provide 189 jobs and $77 million in economic output.
“The strategic and operational benefits of having the APVMA operate out of Armidale appear to be limited,” EY’s analysis said.
Meanwhile if bigger families want to follow the treasurer’s advice, they will still need to save a large deposit if they want to buy the 16-bedroom Mount View Station for $8.5 million, you can pick up a 3br brick home on 615m² for $339,000 on the edge of South Tamworth.
In the 2016 September quarter, the unemployment rate in Tamworth Regional Council area was 7.46%, nearly 2% higher than the national rate of 5.6%. Armidale’s rate is 7.4%.
Morrison’s latest comments come as the government is working on a housing affordability package for the federal budget being delivered in May, with speculation that the government is looking to reduce the 50% capital gains tax concession for investors among other measures.
His advice follows that of his predecessor former treasurer Joe Hockey, who suggested first home buyers struggling to afford a house should “get a good job”.
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