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REIWA kicks off state election campaign focusing on four policy reforms

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) launched its 2017 State Election campaign, which will roll out four key policy changes over the next three weeks to help put property issues on the agenda and stimulate activity in the market to help drive growth.

REIWA president Hayden Groves said the institute had consulted with its members and identified four key priority reform areas and were seeking a commitment from all political parties on these issues.

“Currently property issues are not on the agenda for any political party. The issues of affordable housing, appropriate housing, and accessible housing affect every day West Australians and should be a priority for whoever forms a government,” Groves said.

REIWA’s first campaign policy is to ensure there are no increases to state property taxes as a means to address the revenue shortfalls facing the state.

“In addition, our second policy proposes land tax aggregation rules be abolished. Aggregation rules unfairly penalise investors from holding multiple properties, and it has the potential to impact the property market by softening buyer activity levels in commercial and residential markets.

“REIWA analysis shows by removing aggregation rules, there is the opportunity to stimulate activity in residential and commercial markets which would generate new transfer duty and land tax revenue for the state,” Groves said.

REIWA analysed three different scenarios of the potential lift in activity levels across commercial and residential markets, should land tax aggregation rules be abolished. The analysis showed with just a modest increase in activity levels over a three-year period; this change would have the potential to generate almost $80 million in net revenue.

Groves said REIWA’s analysis not only took into account the revenue the government would forgo from the removal of the aggregation rules, but also the revenue they would receive from the increased levels of activity in both markets.

“In a market that is experiencing some challenges, the adoption of this reform would provide confidence to investors, give new investors the opportunity to enter the market and make holding property a more attractive investment proposition.

“Property plays an important role in the lives of West Australians. We look forward to discussing these important issues and our policy positions with all sides of politics throughout our campaign,” Groves said.

REIWA will be launching a public survey on Thursday (Feb 9) on to allow the WA community to have their say on its first two policy issues.

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June Ramli

June Ramli was a in-house journalist for Elite Agent Magazine.