The Canberra Liberals have blasted the prices of land releases in Gungahlin's newest suburb as the government gets set to reap nearly $90 million from the 203 blocks being selected later this month.
Liberals planning spokesman Alistair Coe said the Barr government was letting down potential first home buyers when blocks at Throsby would be balloted for double the average price of those across the border at Googong.
"The government calls this land affordable, but more than 80 per cent of the blocks are over $400,000 with the average price at $437,000," he said.
In a statement headed "Barr Government gouging buyers at Throsby", Mr Coe said the first-term chief minister was out of touch and his land release program must be reformed.
"The truth is, as a monopoly land supplier, the government continues to deliberately hold back land supply in order to drive up prices," he said.
Registrations closed last Tuesday for the 203 blocks, and the Land Development Agency said the number of people vying to be drawn in the ballot on May 9 would be known once related party checks were finished.
The Liberals have calculated the average price is $941 a square metre, totalling $88.758 million in government revenue.
"Meanwhile, fully serviced blocks in private estates over the border such as Googong are less than $500 per square metre," Mr Coe said.
The ballot prices exceed the average sums paid for the 106 blocks in Throsby released via auction in February, which averaged $450,217, or $920 a square metre, selling for an average $108,000 over the reserve price.
Asked what the Liberals would do differently if elected in October, Mr Coe made no commitment to a set lower average price, or to raising the number of blocks released.
"If elected, the Canberra Liberals will ensure there is a proper land release program in place with a focus on affordability," he said.
Criticism of overpriced ACT land is nothing new, with former ACT Treasury official, now University of Canberra academic, Khalid Ahmed, saying buyers in the 2014 Lawson land release, who paid an average $900 a square metre, handed over an average $130,000 more than the blocks were worth.
Other releases have been cheaper, with an average $300 a square metre paid for all of the 1140 blocks in Moncrieff, LDA chief executive David Dawes said.
The final 77 blocks in Moncrieff, sold in November, returned an average $548 a square metre.
"Land price pressures are expected to ease with the opening up of the West Belconnen development front and the continued expansion of Molonglo," Mr Dawes said.
"The LDA is required to sell land at the amount that could be expected to be paid for the lease on the open market (and) uses qualified independent valuers to obtain these valuations."
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the Liberals would support his government's move to reduce stamp duty on land purchases if they were seriously concerned about ACT housing affordability.
The ACT government's current Indicative Land Release Program seeks to sell 17,190 blocks in the four years to June 2019, which was an increase of 3690 sites from the figure released in June 2014.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.