Shameless as always, “Highrise” Harry Triguboff has repeated his call for the federal government to permit first home buyers (FHBs) to access their superannuation to fund a housing deposit. From The Australian:
Mr Triguboff again called for first-home buyers to be able to access their superannuation to ease affordability.
“The problem is that people do not have a deposit. I have been saying for years: give them access to their super,” he said.
However, the government feared this would push housing prices up further, he noted.
Demand for housing would continue to increase on the back of population growth, with Sydney and Melbourne continuing to see the biggest influx, Mr Triguboff said.
Over the years, Harry has shown himself to be one of Australia’s biggest rent-seekers, supporting policies that would line his own pockets. And allowing FHBs to access their super fits this mould perfectly, since it would boost the customer base for his apartments.
In the meantime, Australia’s Budget deficit would increase further, with PwC estimating the policy could blow a $31 billion hole in the Federal Budget by 2049-50. People’s retirement savings would also be placed under increased strain for no apparent gain – other than to existing property owners (who benefit from higher values) and developers like Highrise Harry.
Rather than implementing daft demand-side stimulus like Harry’s super-housing fix, a better solution to improve housing affordability lies in the last paragraph of Triguboff’s quote above: reducing population growth (immigration) into Sydney and Melbourne.
Of course, Triguboff is also an avid supporter of mass immigration and a ‘Big Australia’, previously commenting that he’d like to see Australia’s population reach 100 million so that he can build more apartments. And when confronted last year with questions about a potential apartment oversupply and falling prices, Triguboff responded by stating “then I will bring in more migrants”.
The fact that Highrise Harry supports allowing FHBs to access their super for a housing deposit is a good reason why the federal government should not. He is talking his own book, not outlining policy in the best interests of Australians.