Axing Of 457 won’t impact vacancy rates, say REINSW

The axing of the 457 visa schemes will only have some bearing on the rental markets in several parts of Sydney such as the iconic Bondi beach and upmarket suburbs like Manly, the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) said.

REINSW president John Cunningham said there would be some areas in Australia where the banning of the 457 visa scheme for foreign workers would suffer while other areas will not have much of an effect.

“Areas such as Bondi and Manly may see some impact but only marginally in the scheme of things but holiday destinations or areas for transient workers such as fruit pickers may have some issues,” Cunningham told Elite Agent.

“From what I know many 457 visa holders are on the move frequently and as such are mostly in share houses, hostels, backpackers, etc, but there are also many who have permanent rentals and established legitimate jobs on sponsorships and as such may fall under the new guidelines.”

“Unfortunately, we don’t know how much it will end up being cut back by so probably too early to speculate but if it is halved it will have zero impact on the 2 million rental properties in Australia as we will not see a significant shift upwards in vacancy rates from their almost all time low of around 1.7 percent in Sydney.

“The net impact could be as little as 0.1 percent to a maximum 0.2 percent at current levels. From this perspective it appears to be just window dressing by the government in backing the big issue of housing affordability,” he said.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the government was abolishing the 457 visas scheme and replace it with a two-tier visa with stricter requirements.

“This will ensure Australian workers are given the absolute priority for jobs, while businesses will be able to temporarily access the critical skills they need to grow if skilled Australians workers are not available,” Turnbull said in a release on Tuesday.

According to the ABC, the latest figures from the Immigration Department states that there has been a drop in 457 visas holders in Australia to 95,758 in September 2016.

The majority of the 457 visa holders were from India, which accounted for almost a quarter of the intake, followed by the UK and China at 19.5 percent and 5.8 percent respectively.

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June Ramli

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