All Australians should have access to affordable and suitable housing, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia in its new election policies report.
Released yesterday, the report covers six issues which the REIA hopes will be addressed when the new government comes into power in September.
It said the reason for their policies was affordability, which had been dramatically declining since it introduced a measure of housing affordability in 2000.
“Homeownership is declining after three decades of stable levels and first home buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the housing market,” said REIA president Peter Bushby.
“REIA’s 2013 Election Policies aim to stimulate the national debate and put housing at the centre of the agenda.
“Immediate, concerted action and leadership are required by all governments to meet Australia’s housing affordability and supply challenges.”
The six election policies cover first home buyers, taxation reform, housing policy, supply of housing for social housing tenants transitioning to private rental, banking ombudsmen and industrial relations.
CEO of Starr Partners Douglas Driscoll told Real Estate Business the REIA should be applauded by the industry for their policies.
“Whether you agree or disagree, at least they’re trying to do something about it and not accepting the status quo as it were,” he said.
“Their intentions are pure and whole-hearted and I think that should be applauded. More people in the industry should get behind it.”
He said he particularly supported the REIA’s policy on first home buyers, which required states and territories to the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations Schedule A, which stated that assistance to first home buyers would be uniform and that eligible homes would be new or established properties.
“I feel very sorry for first home buyers at the moment because obviously they’ve been priced outside of the market by investors, and not just mainland investors, but overseas investors," he said.
“They get the concession on a brand new build, but the overseas buyers can only buy brand new build so the current concessions don’t make sense.
“I totally concur with the REIA’s statement of reintroducing an assistance package or program for established properties, and that makes absolute sense.”