REIA welcomes the opposition’s regional focus

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has welcomed the focus on regional living with the announcement the Leader of the Opposition wants to provide 10,000 places within the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) for regional Australians living in communities for 12 months or more.

REIA President, Hayden Groves said with housing affordability becoming a significant issue, the move to increase investment in regional areas is a step in the right direction.

“The additional commitment of ongoing review of the FHLDS cap and criteria is sensible given current market conditions,” Mr Groves said.

“Whilst this is welcomed and provides an advantage to regional Australians, the realty is there is simply insufficient housing in regions and we’d love to see more investments from both sides of politics on a plan to increase supply of homes to both buy and rent.

“There are still more buyers than sellers in both cities and regions so our focus needs to be on a plan for increasing supply of established dwellings on the market as well as new builds.”

According to Mr Groves, the expansion of the scheme has been a priority under the REIA’s Getting Real policy agenda and he was pleased there is broad bipartisan support for the expansion of the program.

Mr Groves said investors should also remain confident with REIA securing bipartisan commitment to retain negative gearing.

“Both Government and Opposition have promised to the Australian people and investors on the advice of REIA that negative gearing will continue to be supported,” he said.

“This is very different from the elections in 2016 and 2019 and we are glad that this certainty is being offered to our markets, our businesses, investors and tenants.

“The emerging lessons from negative gearing being removed are now becoming apparent in New Zealand so we are glad both parties support our investors, and the 27 per cent of Australians that live in private rentals.”

Mr Groves said he was happy to hear that, if elected, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said would look to lead a conversation around stamp duty reform.

“Without national leadership to phase out this antiquated tax, it will just be a promise of reform from the introduction of the GST in the year 2000 that remains undelivered,” he said.

“Stamp duty reform could increase the supply of existing housing stock on the market anywhere from 5 – 40 per cent and would go a significant way to addressing supply side issues by not punishing ordinary Australians who want to get new jobs and move.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a freelance journalist specialising in finance and real estate.