A property expert has issued a federal budget wish list he believes would boost the Australian property market, in anticipation of the budget reveal on 11 May.
With the Morrison government’s annual budget just around the corner, LJ Hooker Group’s head of research, Mathew Tiller, has offered up the “wish list” of budgetary allocations and inclusions that would provide support to the Australian property industry post-COVID-19, while having a positive impact on the economy, too.
His three wishes are:
- Keep the stimulus coming
According to Mr Tiller, the take-up — and success — of the federal government’s HomeBuilder stimulus measure “proves it needs to be extended, or replaced with a longer-term program”.
An extension of the program, or introduction of a similar stimulus measure, would “ensure the economic benefits of this measure remain”.
Highlighting the effectiveness of the incentive, the researcher noted that the policy “has proven to be particularly successful in helping first home buyers purchase a house and for young families looking to upsize, often in outer-suburban areas prime for new development opportunities”.
Recent ABS data revealed dwelling approvals were up by more than 60 per cent in March 2021, compared to March 2020, with much of this demand directly attributed to the HomeBuilder scheme.
Mr Tiller said: “This has had a very positive effect on assisting with the economic recovery by ensuring jobs for the construction industry and small businesses whose revenue relies on selling, designing, planning, building and construing new houses or renovating existing homes.”
- Support the regions
Many Australian workers are no longer tied to CBDs, the researcher noted.
“Increased workplace flexibility and a desire for open space and fresh air have led to the relaxation of households needing, or wanting, to live close to CBDs,” he said.
Resulting in an increase in the number of households bringing forward their decision to make a tree or sea change, Mr Tiller has observed “considerable growth in population numbers for major regional centres, a short drive from capital cities, and many small rural towns”.
While a return to normal work practices is occurring, he does expect regional relocation will continue to be a more popular choice for young families as well as retirees.
As a result, he believes the government needs to put more of an emphasis on regional investment.
“To ensure this movement is sustainable and is positive for local economies, the 2021–22 federal budget needs to invest in regional Australia and have the right policy settings to ensure there are adequate jobs, infrastructure, services and housing to support and meet the need of growing regional centres,” he stated.
With almost two-thirds of Australia’s export earnings coming from regional industries, Mr Tiller argues “strengthening our regional economies also helps build resilience in the national economy”.
- Inject activity into Australia’s CBDs
While the regions would benefit from more investment, Mr Tiller also points to the need to revitalise capital city CBDs.
From his perspective, Australia’s CBDs are “the engine rooms of growth for the national economy”.
“They have been considerably disrupted over the past 12 months and are only just beginning to rebound from lockdowns, restrictions and changes to workplace cultures,” he flagged.
Mr Tiller is therefore calling for the budget to include a measure which assists and attracts workers and companies alike back into the office.
He believes this would “help ensure we have vibrant city centres, help local businesses and secure the future economic growth of the country”.
“These policies include ensuring there is a clear path and strategy to open our borders to international students and workers which will assist our hotel, tourism and education industries,” the head of research concluded.