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Housing policies need to be on the election agenda

On Aug 12 2013
Tagged as:
  • Residential

A number of voices in the residential property industry have called for the parties in the upcoming ...

A number of voices in the residential property industry have called for the parties in the upcoming federal election to reveal their housing policies.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has been at the forefront of this discussion, stating that housing affordability and supply challenges are two of the most important issues that need to be addressed in the approaching election.

Higher pressure on the market from increased buyer demand can result in house prices being driven up, which in turn can affect the level of affordability. 

This can leave many first  time buyers to place their purchasing plans on hold until they have the means to enter the market.

"Home ownership is declining after three decades of stable levels and first home buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the market, despite the interest rate cuts," said REIA President Peter Bushby in an August 8 statement.

"Housing is a complex issue with a number of economic, social and infrastructure factors determining affordability and we want to see the major parties commit to taking a leadership role in developing a coordinated and strategic approach to housing, including complementary policies covering first home buyers and taxation reform."

Earlier this month, the REIA stated that residential real estate affordability across the country has somewhat improved after the recent rate cut, however there are still hurdles for those entering the market for the first time.

After changes from the recent cash rate reduction are passed on to borrowers in full, home owners can expect to pay around $100 per month less towards their mortgages.

"However, with state governments slashing the first home owner grant for those buying existing dwellings, entering the market is still tough," Mr Bushby said in an August 6 statement.

At the same time, Master Builders Australia has launched a new campaign to call for election policies to strengthen the housing and construction sector in the country.

"We are ready to do the heavy lifting but need whichever party that wins government at this federal election to do its part by providing policies that are real road maps for reform and a commitment to see their implementation through," said Master Builders Australia Chief Executive Wilhelm Harnisch.

Policies in their campaign include a review of stamp duty costs paid for buying land and houses, as well as "realistic and tailored" Land Release Plans for local and state governments.

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