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A budget wish list for the real estate sector

As the countdown to the release of the Federal Budget begins, LJ Hooker Head of Research, Mathew Tiller, has put forward his wish list for the real estate industry.

Mr Tiller said he hoped to see regional investment, an extension to HomeBuilder, and the opening of international borders among the measures announced on budget night in a bid to support the industry in the period ahead.

HomeBuilder extension or replacement

“The take-up and success of the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder stimulus measure proves it needs to be extended, or replaced with a longer-term program, within the 2021/22 Federal Budget to ensure the economic benefits of this measure remain,” Mr Tiller said.

“By providing an effective incentive to build a new home, this policy has proven to be particularly successful in helping first home buyers purchase a house and for young families looking to upsize, often in outer-suburban areas prime for new development opportunities.”

Mr Tiller said March ABS data indicated dwelling approvals for houses had increased by 60.9 per cent compared to March 2020.

“This has had a very positive effect on assisting with the economic recovery by ensuring jobs for the construction industry and small businesses whose revenue relies on selling, designing, planning, building and constructing new houses or renovating existing homes,” he noted.

Regional investment

Mr Tiller also called on the Federal Government to invest in regional Australia in the wake of the COVID-inspired population shift.

“Increased workplace flexibility and a desire for open space and fresh air has led to the relaxation of households needing, or wanting, to live close to CBDs,” Mr Tiller said.

“This has seen an increase in the number of households bringing forward their decision to make a tree or sea change. This has led to considerable growth in population numbers for major regional centres, a short drive from capital cities, and many small rural towns.”

Explaining the trend would likely slow, Mr Tiller said it would continue to be a popular choice for young families and retirees into the future.

“To ensure this movement is sustainable and is positive for local economies, the 2021/22 Federal Budget needs to invest in regional Australia and have the right policy settings to ensure there are adequate jobs, infrastructure, services and housing to support and meet the need of growing regional centres,” he said.

“Almost two thirds of Australia’s export earnings come from regional industries, therefore, strengthening our regional economies also helps build resilience in the national economy.”

Open international borders to assist our CBDs

Describing Australia’s CBDs as “the engine rooms of growth for the national economy”, Mr Tiller called on the government to assist their rebound by opening borders and attracting workers back to the nation’s cities.

“They have been considerably disrupted over the past 12-months and are only just beginning to rebound from lockdowns, restrictions and changes to workplace cultures,” he said.

“The 2021/22 Federal Budget needs to provide a measure which will assist and attract workers and companies back into the office to help ensure we have vibrant city centres, help local businesses and secure the future economic growth of the country.

“These policies include ensuring there is a clear path and strategy to open our borders to international students and workers which will assist our hotel, tourism and education industries.”

The 2021/22 Federal Budget is due to be delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at 7.30pm Tuesday, May 11.

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