Recently re-elected Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Adrian Kelly has expressed a positive sentiment around the national property market over the next 12 months.
In a recent media statement, Mr Kelly described the growth seen in the Australian housing market over 2020 as “respectable”, before indicating that he expects further price increases over 2021.
“Overall, the real estate industry looks forward to a positive year for the Australian property market, with the promise of an Australian COVID-19 vaccination allowing life to resume to a new normal,” he stated.
Mr Kelly touted the property sector as having been “crucial” to Australia’s economic performance throughout the pandemic, highlighting that “government stimulus measures and continued low interest rates have been, in part, responsible for the resilient demand for residential property”.
While some temporary issues could arise in the future due to the winding back of JobKeeper and JobSeeker, Mr Kelly said agents can expect relocations to regional areas to gain further momentum this year.
Even the usual holiday period hasn’t slowed down transactions to the extent it normally would, the president flagged.
“Traditionally, there is a reduction in the number of house sales over the holiday period due to buyers going away for the festive period, but due to the current restrictions, people are taking advantage of the market conditions while they are unable to travel and looking to buy while they can,” he said.
The president then noted that “even though growth in new dwelling investment is unlikely in the 2020–21 fiscal year, given the lags between building approvals and construction activity, the forecast for dwelling investment has been revised from -4 per cent in the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook to -3.5 per cent in MYEFO”.
And with the possibility that a federal election could be called as early as August 2021, the president said it is “critical” that policymakers make measured commitments for property policy for all players in the real estate industry, from first home buyers to investors.
He reflected on the months just prior to the 2019 election, when house sales were the lowest in two decades across Australia, which was “largely attributed to election commitments from the federal opposition to abolish negative gearing and capital gains tax (CGT) in their current form”.
“Given the major role investors played and continue to play in providing housing over the pandemic, it is critical that in the run-in to the election, policies from all sides of politics work for all players in real estate,” Mr Kelly argued.