QLD Budget taxes critically needed student accommodation

The Student Accommodation Council warned today’s Queensland Budget will only dampen the supply of new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) at a critical time for the education sector.

Today’s Budget will increase the foreign investor land tax surcharge to 3 per cent and up the additional stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers to 8 per cent.

The PBSA sector is underpinned nearly entirely by foreign capital which means accommodation owners and developers are disproportionately impacted by foreign owner taxes.

In the Australian Government’s Budget released in April it was announced universities would face caps on their international student numbers for the first time, unless they could demonstrate a new supply of purpose-built student accommodation.

“Today’s announcement shows zero foresight from the QLD government on how they can work with their federal colleagues to unlock supply of student accommodation,” Torie Brown Executive Director of the Student Accommodation Council said.

“If it wasn’t for foreign investors the student accommodation market in Brisbane would simply not exist. To continue to gouge this critical housing type at a time when the health of the international education sector relies upon on its growth is mind blowing.

“One PBSA owner has seen their land tax bill increase by 26 per cent over night.

“The message this sends to investors is critical, it signals their capital is not welcome here.

“Investors look for predictable jurisdictions when they decide where to develop new student accommodation. They will simply shift their plans and build student accommodation interstate or overseas.”

“The international education sector is worth almost $6 billion to the Queensland economy, with the health of this sector now inextricably linked to the future supply of student accommodation,” Anouk Darling Chair of the Student Accommodation Council said.

“Our sector is willing and able to develop new PBSA beds, but decisions like this one just turn our attention to other, more predictable jurisdictions.”

/Public Release. View in full here.