LOOKING to stimulate population growth and improve housing affordability in the City of Adelaide, the council last week agreed to introduce a major new incentive for city home buyers and is encouraging the State Government to better the offer.
Adelaide City Council has agreed to introduce a scheme that would offer a five-year rate-free period for owner-occupiers who purchased 'off the plan' dwellings. The same concession would also be made available to owner-occupiers of residential dwellings which had been transformed from C and D Grade office buildings.
Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the initiative is part of a comprehensive strategy that supported Council's aim of achieving a residential growth target of 50,000 residents by 2040.
"This is another example of how Council is doing what it can to stimulate economic development and residential demand in the City of Adelaide by providing this incentive to home buyers," Cr Haese said.
"I'm writing to the State Government to request its support for this plan and ask they join us to create a package which will stimulate residential growth in the city."
Councillor Natasha Malani, who proposed the measures, said that if enacted they will encourage an appropriate and sustainable balance between owner-occupier and investor purchasers in the CBD property market.
"With C and D grade commercial vacancies rising as business tenants seek out higher quality office space, the incentive would also reward residential owner-occupiers when a building is transformed from an office block into residential accommodation."
Property Council Executive Director Daniel Gannon welcomed the City of Adelaide's initiative and encouraged the State Government to examine available options.
"This would be a significant reform that would drive transactions, make housing in South Australia more affordable and provide a courageous national competitive advantage," he said.
"The City of Adelaide's motion is a perfect example of identifying a policy lever that – when pulled – will lead to a positive economic outcome for this local government area. It's clear that the council is putting its money where its mouth is in an effort to tackle the rising level of vacant lower quality buildings in the city, which is at its highest level in almost two decades.
"This should now act as a catalyst for the State Government to implement complementary measures to increase the city's residential population and inject a healthier level of night-time economic stimulation."