Advocacy Priorities for Australia’s Agents

 

REIA supports market led policies that helps more Australians achieve their home ownership dreams.

The Institute works with our Board and practitioners to develop our key policy priorities:

  • First home buyer support
  • COVID-19 increased assistance
  • Foreign investment reform
  • Housing affordability
  • Property taxation
  • Sustainability & climate

 

First Home Buyer

The opportunity REIA is looking to address.

 

Historic low interest rates mean that now is a great time for Australians to buy their first home.

Our Solution

REIA calls on the Federal Government to make some simple changes to existing programs to help Aussie’s into home ownership:

  • Extend the current First Home Super Saver (FHSS) Scheme to allow first home buyers to have access to their voluntary superannuation contributions, including earnings.
  • Expand the First Home Buyers Deposit Scheme should be to cover all eligible first home buyers.

 

COVID-19 increased assistance

The problem REIA is looking to solve.

 

80 pc of all Australian real estate agents believe that COVID-19 and other support programs will need to be extended for some Australian’s working in severely affected sectors.

Our Solution

JobKeeper, JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rental Assistance must be continued for affected sectors that will take longer to recover.

 

Foreign Investment

The problem REIA is looking to solve.

 

Foreign investor activity in residential real estate has in fact declined in the last four years – from over 40,000 applications in 2015/16 to just 7,500 in 2018/19.

Our Solution

Residential real estate application fees and penalties should reflect the cost of administration and assessment only and should not offset other categories.

 

Housing Affordability

The opportunity REIA is looking to address.

 

Supply has been unable to keep pace with demand for Australia’s property market. It is estimated that Australia has a housing shortage of up to 150,000 dwellings. An increased focus on supply will improve the cost of housing for all customers.

The Solution

REIA believes that more can be done by all Australian Governments including:

  • Improving approval times for development applications
  • Reducing the cost of the development application process
  • Rezoning reform
  • Land release programs and
  • Establish a government led mechanism for reliable data on housing demand and supply

 

Property taxation

The opportunity REIA is looking to address.

 

Property taxes are a major consideration for Australia’s real estate customers. Australian’s paid on average 4% of their total property value in residential stamp duty in 2018 – 2019.

The Solution

  • A major tax reform agenda should be pursued by State & Federal governments that remove stamp duty. This should be replaced by a broad based consumption tax.
  • But without a coordinated approach, REIA strongly advocates that negative gearing and capital gains tax on property investments are retained in their current form.

Sustainability & Climate

The opportunity REIA is looking to address.

 

Agents know that for many property buyers and tenants that climate and sustainability issues are front of mind.

The Solution

There is a range of ‘do now’ policies that can support property customers in making better informed decisions around climate and sustainability. These are:

  • The ACCC should investigate the level of competition in the insurance market in locations prone to drastic climatic events.
  • Encourage governments to fund mitigation works as per the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
  • Support a standard voluntary bushfire rating system in real estate marketing.