INDUSTRY NEWSNationalReal Estate News

REIA wants to phase out stamp duty and boost supply to tackle housing crisis

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has called for stamp duty to be phased out and lending criteria to be revisited to encourage more housing investment and ease the housing crisis.

The measures were outlined as part of REIA’s Getting Real 2.0, which looks at the ways to tackle the housing crisis.

REIA President, Hayden Groves said Getting Real 2.0 delivered tangible, achievable, community-centric policies designed to address a range of issues, including the severe housing shortage across the nation.

“There is no single issue in the minds of Australians – as property consumers, taxpayers, and voters – that is more prominent and more urgent than Australia’s current housing crisis,” Mr Groves said.

“Every Australian holds the dream of a secure home – a cornerstone of their future. 

“But for many, this aspiration is hindered by our nation’s deepening housing crises.

“Additional challenges like stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates, have brought a new dynamic to the fore.”

The plan called for housing supply to be boosted by replacing stamp duty with a more dynamic option, improved lending criteria to encourage investment, collaborating with local councils to unlock housing supply, encouraging downsizers and bringing vacant properties back to the market.

Mr Groves said housing supply needed to be addressed.

“Since June 2021, housing and rental supply shortfalls have dominated markets, media headlines and political agendas,” he said.

“The National Housing Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) projects a massive supply shortfall of around 106,000 dwellings by next financial year.

“At the same time, state, territory and federal governments have committed to the National Housing Accord, which aims to return to pre-COVID completion levels and build an ambitious 1.2 million new homes by 2030.”

He said the housing crisis has been described as abysmal, as a handbrake to Australia’s economy and a catastrophic failure of government foresight. 

“It is all these things and more,” Mr Groves said.

“At REIA, we are optimistic that a collaborative, well considered and clear plan for injecting housing supply into the community will solve many of the housing challenges we face.”

On top of housing supply, Mr Groves said REIA also wants further housing measures implemented, including safeguarding digital domains, improved environmental goals, additional ethics in real estate transactions as well as reassessing land availability, zoning and optimising housing supply.

He said the industry needsedto better safeguard digital domains to protect homeowners and renters from cyber-crime.

“Recent cyber security breaches, such as high-profile incidents at major corporations like Optus and Medibank in October last year, underscore the urgency of this concern,” he said.

“In fact, cyber security was ranked as the third most pressing challenge by our member institutes.”

Mr Groves said the REIA wanted to see the environmental ratings of new developments increase – something that’s been lagging.

He said the REIA has also stepped up its support of the commercial property industry and was working to amend current planning and zoning frameworks, which hindered the residential and commercial real estate industry.

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.