Media: Premier Gladys Berejiklian says Sydney houses are $50,000 cheaper because of government policies

Published in Sydney Morning Herald, April 7 2017

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been challenged to produce evidence that the government's policies have significantly reduced house prices, after claiming in Parliament that the average Sydney house is $50,000 lower than it would be thanks to state government policies. 

Ms Berejiklian said that the record number of housing approvals under her government had stopped Sydney's housing affordability crisis from climbing even further. 

"Recently Treasury did some numbers to suggest that because of the rate at which we are approving housing approvals and building and construction, the mean price of an average house in Sydney would have been $50,000 higher if not for our policies," Ms Berejiklian said in Parliament on Wednesday, in response to a question on housing affordability from Newtown's Greens MP Jenny Leong. 

The ABS reported this week that there had been more than 75,000 building approvals in NSW in the past 12 months, and 53,000 completions.

"That is almost 140 per cent higher than what we inherited when we came to government," Ms Berejiklian told Parliament.

Asked for the Treasury documents to back up the Premier's claim, the Treasurer's office pointed to paragraphs in the 2015 Intergenerational Report which said that boosting housing supply would boost economic growth.

A spokesman from the Treasurer's office said the complicated equation used for calculating the impact of housing supply on prices is laid out in a technical note to the same report, but the $50,000 figure does not appear in the report. 

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