Sydney’s dark buildings

KATHY COWLEY

Why are we destroying our suburbs and environments when up to half of new apartments are being left vacant?

As we’re all well aware, Sydney has been a hive of construction activity, based on the premise that new homes are required for our increased population. However, these developments are increasingly seen as pandering to the developer lobby groups while State Governments reap the Stamp Duty rewards.

In 2017 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that ‘a quarter of Chinese buying property overseas leave their apartments vacant and the majority pay for their purchase with cash, a survey of mainland Chinese customers by investment bank UBS shows.

‘Another 25 per cent of overseas property owners use their homes on a temporary basis, suggesting about half of the overseas properties owned by mainland Chinese were not fully utilised.’

Our suburbs are being bulldozed and radically altered so that non-residents can invest their capital in a relatively safe economy. On these statistics, 50% of the apartments rising across our suburbs, are in the main, unoccupied. This does nothing to ease rental pressure, accommodate existing residents, or reduce prices for people looking to purchase their first home.

What to do? 2019 is an election year for both State and Federal Governments. Your voice needs to be heard. At all levels greater restrictions on non-resident purchases need to be instigated, with the current loopholes of allowing temporary residents, trusts and corporates to purchase property to be tightened. Unoccupied residences need to incur greater disincentives in our cities.

The need for a more sustainable population policy is required to improve the prospects for the next generations. Higher population does not equate to a higher standard of living. In fact, GDP Growth per person is not improving, resulting in more inequities. Please see FOKE website for more detail.

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