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Greedy Developer Should be Named and Shamed

54-11 24 May 2009 24

Today’s Sunday Canberra Times reports that a greedy Canberra developer has used his family to score 30 blocks of low-cost land to form a very lucrative land bank for himself, which is contrary to the policy for these blocks.

 He was told he could only have a maximum of five blocks, which would still have turned him a tidy profit, but he then got family members to buy up five blocks each.  The LDA has satsified themselves that this developer is going to build and sell all 30 blocks.

The Liberals have found this out under FOI, which surely must make us all wonedr what other rorts are going on, all of which detroy the government’s affordable housing policy.

This developer, and his family members who are part of this scam, should be named and shamed by the government (although as we’ve seen from other examples such as the ‘Bundah caravan park issue, these lowlifes are virtually unembarassable) to at least let everyone know who is making obscene profits by flouting the letter and the spirit of the housing affordability policies.

Canberrans, this developer and his family are among those who are pushing up the price of land and making it even harder for young poeple to get into the housing market, by creating a monopoly and by land banking these blocks.

[ED – Or possibly those in Government who are misguidedly distorting the market, which invariably works to the benefit of market insiders, should be apologising?]

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Greedy Developer Should be Named and Shamed
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captainwhorebags 8:00 am 26 May 09

GregW: my point is that just like any other business, builders should have to compete for potential clients, not lock up all the land supply and dribble it out as they see fit. If a builder can’t win clients based on their own merits, then I really don’t care if they go down the gurgler.

Sheepgroper: well I haven’t bought a house and land package here, but I’ve been told that’s how it works. I paid less thank $4k in stamp duty, not the $15k+ that I’ve heard is common now. Happy to be proven wrong.

SheepGroper 10:02 pm 25 May 09

captainwhorebags said :

My suspicions are that the government is encouring this because of stamp duty revenue. We only had to pay stamp duty on the land, whereas a house and land package attracts stamp duty on the total sum.

Are you sure? I’ve bought a couple of house and land packages in other states, and I paid stamp duty on the land only. Perhaps the difference is in the ACT the land you build on is leased not freehold?

ant 8:24 pm 25 May 09

captainwhorebags said :

My suspicions are that the government is encouring this because of stamp duty revenue. We only had to pay stamp duty on the land, whereas a house and land package attracts stamp duty on the total sum. Obviously the govt has a vested interest in selling house and land packages, even though in my opinion the home owner gets a raw deal.

Ouch, now that is interesting. Hadn’t thought of that but you are right, a package would send bigger bucks flowing to the government. wouldn’t it be nice if they stopped and remembered occasionally that they are meant to look after the people in the society rather than trying to soak them.

You got the govt with poor land release, a dodgy LDA and an abysmally poor, slow and expensive ACTPLA planning and approval process. Do you really blame these guys for taking advantage when they can?

I’m not a developer, but appreciate that these people take considerable risk when developing, and have to put up with all sorts of stigma and hassles.

Sure they’re mostly wealthy, but this is because they have worked hard and taken risks.

I’m not saying what they do is right, but if I were in their position, I’d likely do similar.

GregW 5:49 pm 25 May 09

captainwhorebags said :

Why do builders need to buy blocks to secure a livelihood? We bought our block in 2002 off the plan (Eastern Valley Rise, fancy name for Banks) and then had the luxury of talking to various builders before finding one that we liked..

You answered your own question.

You had land and multiple builders were interested in building on it. n-1 of them missed out and may not have had another project or land to build on.

captainwhorebags 10:37 am 25 May 09

Why do builders need to buy blocks to secure a livelihood? We bought our block in 2002 off the plan (Eastern Valley Rise, fancy name for Banks) and then had the luxury of talking to various builders before finding one that we liked.

Our neighbours had picked out their block as the one they wanted but were then forced to use the builder that had already bought it. The builder hammered them on price, inclusions, everything.

My suspicions are that the government is encouring this because of stamp duty revenue. We only had to pay stamp duty on the land, whereas a house and land package attracts stamp duty on the total sum. Obviously the govt has a vested interest in selling house and land packages, even though in my opinion the home owner gets a raw deal.

G-Fresh 9:24 am 25 May 09

Loopholes will always be exploited. Even if you do name this geezer I reckon he won’t feel shamed and will carry on regardless. If you want to put a stop to these sorts of things it needs to be done through legislature, as opposed to being a bunch of bloggers crying foul.

MelonHead 7:06 am 25 May 09

“greedy” and “developer” in the same sentence. Almost a tautology. Yes I know they have to make a living, and those expensive cars are, by definition, expensive. That mansion somewhere in the burbs.. we all know the price of good help.

Let the good times roll.

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:30 am 25 May 09

I believe 106.3 had a survey recently on the one child policy so I’m not the only one thinking it.

Sorry. I’ve already got two kids. Be a dear and shoot yourself in the face for us. There’s a good girl. It’s for the planet.

Ari 12:13 am 25 May 09

Mistress M said :

I believe 106.3 had a survey recently on the one child policy so I’m not the only one thinking it.

Good luck with pushing that policy in a democracy.

How about you volunteer to have no children to balance up the misbehaviour of the rest of us?

SheepGroper 10:35 pm 24 May 09

Mistress M said :

Do we really need to continue developing or should we try to slow things down and live peacefully, albeit closer together under the “one” roof.??

I had enough of that living in a unit next door to an arsehole. A seperation space between me and my neighbours is the only way for me, and whatever menagerie I choose to keep.

affordable 10:28 pm 24 May 09

If this is part of the affordable housing strategy, why are you allowed 5 blocks ?
to make it a bigger joke, they are encouraging builders to buy their 5 blocks
as well they are closing the loophole by getting them to sign a stat dec, who will be checking that stat dec is legit and how will they enforce it.

no use naming and shaming, the idiots allowed them to do it, legally.

Mistress M 9:29 pm 24 May 09

Perhaps the bigger picture is what are we doing to Mother Earth? Do we really need to continue developing or should we try to slow things down and live peacefully, albeit closer together under the “one” roof. Less of a footprint and start providing good homes to the children in need already here, instead of asking Mother Earth to feed another mouth??

I believe 106.3 had a survey recently on the one child policy so I’m not the only one thinking it.

GregW 7:22 pm 24 May 09

That being said I’m not convinced that the government intentionally driving up the price of land is a bad thing. It is a very effective way of raising revenue without causing widespread criticism, from which we all benefit. Indeed renters benefit disproportionally so it is ‘regressive’, a buzzword that naive people seem to love.

GregW 7:15 pm 24 May 09

utah, that’s a silly policy and it should be obvious why.

As long as this practice is not widespread there would be little effect on housing prices, it is still a competitive industry. Whats more likely is that there have been insufficient land releases to meet the demand of buyers/builders (presumably intentional) and the builder needs to secure future blocks to guarantee his livelihood.

I see no evidence that this is in any way ‘greedy’.

gomer 7:06 pm 24 May 09

utah said :

If we honestly gave a damn about housing costs, we’d institute a law that states that the members of each household can only “own” one block of land in the ACT.

Sounds very Cuban, utah. Nup the easiest way to solve this is for the govt to release 50,000 residential blocks ASAP. And it seems like the only way it will do that is if the federal govt stops states and territories from using land sales fund their election promises.

utah 4:01 pm 24 May 09

If we honestly gave a damn about housing costs, we’d institute a law that states that the members of each household can only “own” one block of land in the ACT. Get two landholders living in one residential address, and one of them has to sell. Catch someone claiming an investment property as their “residential” address so they can live with another landholder, and they forfeit their property. No more wealthy baby-boomers buying up multiple investment properties; no more need for a first home buyers grant.

That’s if we gave a damn, of course, rather than just enjoyed whinging about it.

SkipDaRoo 1:19 pm 24 May 09

You obviously have not been to any of the land auctions, a few years back when we were thinking of buying land and building the DaRoo dream house. We went, the European builders had every family member up to twice removed cousins there with their lottery ticket.

On the flip side these people need to make a living and the ACT releases land in small dribs and drabs there is no certainty , I blame them for the situation.

Spam Box 12:18 pm 24 May 09

Name and shame

I-filed 11:53 am 24 May 09

All the ACT Governments have been hand in glove. Viz the cheap sale of a row of three plum Braddon houses opposite Ainslie Primary a few years ago to a developer, on the sly.

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