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Sydney housing market boosts NSW budget

From luxury mansions to granny flats, the property market in Sydney is helping to keep New South Wales afloat.

The NSW government released the 2013-14 half-yearly review of its budget on December 12, and it showed that the budget is expected to be $656 million weaker than previously forecast.

At the same time, a strong rise in housing investment was spotlighted as a positive that's expected to continue into 2014-15.

The Property Council of Australia also highlighted further increases in stamp duty as a good sign for both the real estate market and the state. However, the council's NSW executive director, Glenn Byres, cautioned against relying on stamp duty as a main source of revenue.

"Another rise in stamp duty receipts confirms both housing production and commercial property transactions are on the up," Mr Byres said in a December 12 media release.

"But stamp duty is a volatile source of revenue, and NSW needs to immune itself against sudden shifts in the market. Creation of a simple, efficient and transparent planning system - with clear rules applied objectively - will help the industry move to a more solid footing."

This is hardly the first time Sydney has seen increases in stamp duty this year.

The Office of State Revenue reported in November that stamp duty reached $356.8 million in October from residential property sales, the highest monthly figure since records regarding stamp duty began being kept in 2005-06.

These numbers make one thing clear: Market activity in Sydney continues to be strong and is expected to continue in the coming year.

With values on the rise, now appears to be an ideal time to buy investment property in Sydney.

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