CRITICISM by a Warrnambool City councillor of negative gearing housing investment has been slammed by prominent property developer Graeme Rodger.
Mr Rodger said Cr Peter Hulin’s claims earlier in the week, that negative gearing stifled ability to provide affordable housing, were misguided.
“If we didn’t have negative gearing we wouldn’t have a lot of the rental properties that are available,” Mr Rodger said.
“Not everyone wants to own a house, some prefer to rent.
“Councillors should stop thinking negatively — it’s going against development of our city.”
Mr Rodger said a better alternative for affordable housing was to introduce means-testing so people with genuine low incomes could get tax concessions on property purchases.
“If they were really serious they wouldn’t charge rates on vacant land or GST for first-home buyers,” he said.
“It costs developers about $35,000 in taxes per block of land in Warrnambool — that’s 25 per cent of the block price.
“The cost to produce a block is about $65,000 plus purchase of the paddock.
“And with bank interest rates running at eight per cent for development finance it’s not cheap to produce housing land,” Mr Rodger said.