National licensing, vendor identity fraud and housing affordability are the key issues confronting the real estate industry, according to the newly elected Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president, Pamela Bennett.
Ms Bennett, who has been a member of the REIA board for a total of eight years and is also chairman of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ), said she was honoured to formally take on this role in what is such an exciting, yet challenging time for the real estate profession.
“One of the major issues for the profession over the next 12 months will be national licensing,” she said. “This will be a great opportunity for the profession to ensure that educational standards are maintained.”
Ms Bennett told Real Estate Business she remained hopeful a draft of the proposed national licensing legislation – the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) - would be available before Christmas.
The RIS was originally due for release in July this year, and recently a government spokesperson was unable to give Real Estate Business an expected delivery date.
Ms Bennett said the REIA could accept the RIS being delayed provided it incorporated the higher levels of education standards the industry craved.
Recent property sale scams in Perth and Sydney are also high on Ms Bennett’s – and all the state and territory Real Estate Institutes’ - agenda.
The scams involved the sale, or near sale, of properties without the owner’s knowledge.
“We certainly believe other states and territories need to be aware of the issue,” she told Real Estate Business. “We need to be a step ahead on these things.”
While she acknowledged the 100-point identity check would create more work for agents, the dire ramifications of a fraudulent sale necessitated the shift. Furthermore, based on existing evidence, sellers weren’t opposed to the new policy.
She said the REIA and the state and territory Real Estate Institutes’ would seek to create a best practice model for dealing with vendor identity checks.
Despite a recent cut in rates, housing affordability will also remain high on the REIA's agenda in 2012.
“Improving housing affordability is crucial,” Ms Bennett continued.
“The Reserve Bank does not cut interest rates without reason and has taken an important step in cutting rates in November - they are doing what they see fit to take the financial pressure off households.”
Supporting Ms Bennett will be Morgan Shearer of Darwin who has been elected as the deputy president. Mr Shearer has been an REIA director since 2005 and is also a director of the Real Estate Institute of the Northern Territory (REINT).