A Canberra landlord believes rising rates and land tax bills are one of the main reasons for the capital's rental crisis, warning landlords will desert the ACT and instead look interstate.
Nicholls woman Pamela Wilkinson and her husband Jeff own six investment properties, and the frustrated couple plan to sell their ACT rentals and reinvest the money in other parts of the country.
She believes others have already pulled out of the ACT market and will continue to do so for the same reasons, leading to a shortage in the supply of rental properties in Canberra.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Thursday show investors are deserting the housing market. The national value of investment loans hit its lowest level in a decade in May.
In Canberra, investment loans were valued at $102.7 million in May, reaching their lowest levels in three years.
Mrs Wilkinson said she and her husband had worked hard for what they had.
"We went without to [buy the investment properties]," she said.
"We had very modest holidays and we didn't change our car every two or three years like a lot of our peer group did.
"We put ourselves in position for retirement. Now, the government is taking that away from us.
"We've still got mortgages on some of the properties, so we've got to pay those as well."
The ACT government's rates revenue has risen more than 130 per cent since it embarked on its 20-year-long reform to abolish stamp duty, vastly exceeding increases everywhere.
In the first five years of the reform, which began in 2011-12, the average ACT household's rates bill increased by $624 and reached $1900.
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The 2019-20 budget shows rates for householders and rural landholders will rise by 7 per cent on average this financial year, with unit rates to increase by an average 11 per cent.
The land tax take is also increasing, with the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing the ACT government collected $134 million in 2017-18. This was an increase of $28 million on the previous financial year.
When he handed down the latest budget, Chief Minister and Treasurer Andrew Barr said the "heaviest lifting" of the reform had been done and rates rises would eventually slow.
This week, a spokesman for Mr Barr said there was "no evidence to suggest that the ACT is not an attractive place to invest in the housing market".
"The ACT's population has been growing strongly, increasing the demand for housing," he said.
"Over the past three years to 2017-18, the ACT's population has increased by more than 25,000 people. Through the year to the March quarter 2019, there were 6718 new dwelling commencements in the ACT, the highest on record.
"From 2013-14 to 2017-18 the proportion of rent needed to cover total rates and land tax for these properties has remained steady at around 18 per cent. For units, this has increased from around 8 per cent to 14 per cent."