Real Institute of Australia (REIA) President, Mr David Airey, said that although the recent Federal Budget ignored housing affordability, its was not the horror Budget that was expected. “The Budget is a ‘mixed bag’, with both positive and negative implications for the real estate profession and the housing market,” he said.
On a positive note, the much-speculated changes to negative gearing arrangements that REIA lobbied against have been rejected. Of great disappointment is that there are no measures in the Budget to assist those that REIA refers to as being an endangered species – first home buyers. First home buyers currently represent approximately 15% of purchases in the housing market, compared to 30% in October 2009.
This is a market segment that desperately needs assistance to fund home purchase. REIA recommended in its Pre-Budget submission that the government conduct a review of First Home Owner Grant and consider providing first home buyers access to superannuation for the purchase of a home” Mr. Airey said. “This Budget will do little to stave off expected increases in interest rates, a concern given the critical state of affordability. We need to look at practical measures to give first home buyers the opportunity to realise the dream of owning their own home,” concluded Mr.Airey.