GETTING REAL

REIA’s Strategic Policy Agenda: The First Edition
Trusted real estate agents | Fair real estate markets | Prosperous real estate businesses

REIA is pleased to announce the release of Getting Real – policy priorities for Australia’s real estate agents and agencies.

REIA’s primary function since 1924 has been advocacy for policies that support a successful real estate industry to protect and promote private property markets.  

For nearly the last one hundred years, our work has been instrumental in shaping Federal government decision-making and we are proud of this history. 

Getting Real aims for trusted real estate agents, fair real estate markets and prosperous real estate businesses.

A changing world
But both REIA and the real estate industry have grown.

With rising house prices, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, expansion of technology, changing consumer behaviour and many more dramatic shifts, it is now more important than ever that we address these changes head-on and make sure agents and agencies are positioned for a strong future.

What Getting Real means for agencies
Getting Real policies were triaged to: 

  1. Drive real estate listings over the short and long term
  2. Defend against draconian regulation and compliance
  3. Support confidence and trust in real estate agents and markets
  4. Attack immediate reputational or economic threats
  5. Plan for big picture strategic issues to secure agencies a profitable future

Getting Real aims to ensure real estate agencies are at the heart of national decision making, so real estate agents can focus on what they do best: help Australian’s into homes.

A collaborative, evidence-based approach
Getting Real is based on months of research and consultation by State and Territory Institutes which were agreed at REIA’s inaugural Strategic Policy Forum in Darwin in June 2021.

Getting Real fulfills one of REIA’s longstanding goals to make a deliberate and impactful set of policies for the success of the real estate industry, with a focus on the evidence. This evidence considers data, research, projections, and practitioner feedback from those on the ground.

Our policies have been categorised into the following areas based on six themes.

Click to see overview

Word Class Cities

Priorities
  • Pandemic recovery
  • Government investment
  • Land use and economic strategy
  • Planning for future trends/population
 
What needs to happen
  • Evidence needs to form the basis of a new Federal plan for cities
  • This plan needs to address Megatrends such as sustainability and higher density

World Class Regions

Priorities
  • Rise of the regions/escape from the cities phenomenon causing higher popularity of regions
  • Regional housing affordability
  • Liveability
  • Regional employment gaps
 
What needs to happen
  • Regional infrastructure needs improvement to cater to projected population growth and improve liveability
  • Bi-partisan regional revitalisation plan
  • Better regional data

Investors

Priorities
  • Investors are crucial in rental supply and affordability
  • COVID-19 and rental eviction moratoriums have caused a lot of stress to Mum and Dad investors (who make up the majority of landlords)
  • Tenancy Rights reforms favour tenants too heavily and leave investors with lower profits
 
What needs to happen
  • CGT and Negative Gearing are retained in their current form until an extensive review can be done to inform an improved alternative tax structure
  • Rent controls and regulatory burdens placed on investors must be avoided
  • Rental eviction moratoriums to remain in place only for as long as necessary

Lending

Priorities
  • Increase in house prices has caused concern over potential regulatory intervention
  • An accurate review of lending risk would require a review of metrics utilised
  • Rise of the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’
 
What needs to happen
  • More prudent assessment of need for regulatory intervention with updated metrics
  • The introduction of a FHSSS to support borrowing from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’

First Home Buyer (FHBs)

Priorities
  • Rising property prices and low listing numbers make it more difficult for FHBs to enter the market
  • Government incentives have been successful in increasing FHB numbers
  • FHBs need help to gain home ownership for financial security to tackle the widening generational wealth inequality and undersupply
 
What needs to happen
  • Extend and expand Government incentives such as FHLDS and FHSSS
  • Financial education for young Australians
  • Increase housing supply and encourage rightsizing

Supply

Priorities
  • Improvement of supply = improvement in affordability
  • Housing supply shortfall is increasing with pandemic-fuelled fall in project completion, thus adding to the issue
  • When migration returns to normal, an intense supply crunch will occur
What needs to happen
  • Faster and cheaper planning and approvals process
  • Rezoning reform
  • Improved data on supply
  • Social and Affordable housing investment
  • Land release programs

Sustainability

Priorities
  • Real estate, like all industries, is impacted by risk and responsibility associated with climate change
  • Need to adapt for the future and take leadership opportunities
  • Consumer demand for sustainable housing options, and willingness to pay a premium for it
  • Physical realities of bushfire zones, beachfront homes and need for building supplies
  • Likely expansion of government requirements for green credentials
 
What needs to happen
  • Agencies need to be prepared to focus on sustainable offerings
  • Businesses need to be given the means to increase their green credentials (through technology and education)
  • Government needs to investigate climate resilience solutions

Proptech

Priorities
  • Boom in Proptech has given new opportunity for agencies to improve by updating their processes
  • Businesses can use Proptech to become more efficient, meet consumer expectations and increase profit
  • Blockchain and AI are particular areas to watch
What needs to happen
  • Agencies need to be informed and nimble, as those who stay behind the Proptech curve will be disadvantaged
  • Government funding for access to Proptech solutions
  • REIA and REI support, education and information

Regulation and Regtech

Priorities
  • Regulation has been and can be very restrictive with negative repercussions for the real estate industry
  • Technological innovations can remove obstacles to regulation, but only if legislation modernises to accommodate
What needs to happen
  • National harmonisation of regulatory standards
  • Legislation to adapt to technological advances
  • Development of a regulatory index to benchmark performance

People, Training and Skills

Priorities
  • Agencies need to adapt to a growth in technology and changing consumer expectations
  • Skills shortage, especially in Property Management
  • Demand for trust, transparency and service
What needs to happen
  • Government investment in skills and training
  • Using tools and insights to agency advantage
  • Reframe the industry perception
  • Attract, train and retain talented professionals

Rightsizers

Priorities
  • Older Australians are staying in their family homes due to factors such as stamp duty
  • These underutilised homes could be freed up for the demand from younger Australians with the wish to occupy appropriately
  • This trend is only increasing
What needs to happen
  • Expansion of incentives to help over 65s down/rightsize
  • Government planning to address ageing and growing population projections

To read our full report, click here.