Property developer Stockland expects the carbon tax to have minimal impact on the cost of building a new house.
Stockland CEO Matthew Quinn says the controversial tax will add only 0.6% or $2,500 to the cost of one of its house-and-land package.
“The carbon tax is something the industry can take in its stride,” Quinn says, comparing its impact to the introduction of GST.
His comments are likely to infuriate the Housing Industry Association and Real Estate Institute of NSW, which are both campaigning hard against the carbon tax.
The HIA claims the carbon tax will have “painful and widespread repercussions for residential building”.
“New housing is already designed and built to meet stringent energy regulations that make them substantially more energy-efficient than existing homes,” says HIA chief executive Graham Wolfe.
“Lifting the cost of new homes further through a new tax without any benefit at all to the individual home buyer makes no sense.”
The REINSW estimates that the average residential building price will increase by $5,000 as a result of the carbon tax, plus an additional $740 in additional GST and stamp duty imposts.
“It is bad enough that the carbon tax will push up the cost of an average new home by at least $5000 but to then make that increase subject to not one but two existing taxes, is just unconscionable”, says REINSW president Wayne Stewart.
Stockland is forecasting the carbon tax to add a maximum of $4 million annually in electricity and gas costs to its operational costs from the 2013 financial year onwards.
It expects to pass 50% of this cost on to consumers.
Quinn says Stockland has taken “massive steps” to mitigate against the carbon price including “huge reduction” in the amount of greenhouse gases its developments emit.
Stockland’s current emissions total 166,000 tonnes, mainly from electricity usage in commercial buildings, meaning it will not be liable to purchase carbon credits.
It has reduced its greenhouse gas intensity by 34% for offices and 16% for retail developments over the last five years and is targeting a further 7% reduction in for offices and 20% for retail by 2014.