The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia has called on the State Government to encourage buyer activity in the local property market over the next financial year.
In its submission to the annual budget process, REIWA warned the Treasurer against increasing the costs involved with buying a property at this time.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said that the property market has always been an easy target for tax revenues, particularly as the Government battles to improve its budget position.
“The property market provides a regular, albeit fickle, source of income for the State through property taxes but that’s by no means a reason to further increase the costs involved in buying property to make up any shortfall,” Mr Groves said.
“Increasing the costs, especially for first home buyers, will deter West Australians from entering the market.”
“Keeping first home buyers active is crucial to bolstering the broader market and something the Government should prioritise when setting policy for the coming year.
“With the First Home Owner Grant already abolished on established homes, it’s important that the existing transfer duty exemption for first home buyers remains to encourage this sector of the market.”
REIWA’s submission also recommends the Government introduce rebates on transfer duty for seniors to encourage downsizing activity, ensuring appropriate housing diversity and choice.
“By making it more appealing to downsize, the market would be in a better position in terms of offering the right mix of housing options to meet the changing needs of the community,” Mr Groves said. “Again, it’s about the State Government looking at ways to encourage activity in the market and by making it easier to downsize it ensures that, where possible, appropriate and affordable housing options exist for all West Australians.” Other recommendations in REIWA’s submission include transfer duty relief for off-the-plan developments and house and land projects. Also, that no further changes are made to rates or thresholds for land tax and that the State Government undertake a state tax review as a commitment in the upcoming 2017 State election.
“REIWA represents the WA property market as a whole and we feel that it’s in the best interests for the Government, the public and our members that the market environment remains enticing for those looking to enter and trade up.”
REIWA’s recommendations for the State Budget:
- No increase to transfer duty or thresholds.
- Maintain the existing transfer duty exemption for first home buyers at $430,000.
- Rebates on transfer duty for seniors to encourage appropriate downsizing.
- Transfer duty relief for off-the-plan developments and house and land projects.
- No changes to rates or thresholds for land tax.
- Remove land tax aggregation rules.
- State tax review.