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‘Disappointing’ Qld budget lacks long-term plan for housing: REIQ

By Kyle Robbins
23 June 2022 | 1 minute read

The budget’s lack of housing plan has been met with disappointed reaction from the state’s leading real estate body.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) stated that the government’s 2022-23 state budget missed a valuable chance to implement key reforms in the industry and assist more Queenslanders to enter home ownership.

The institute said the budget lacks any action towards supporting housing affordability and accessibility in the Sunshine State.

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REIQ chief executive office Antonia Mercorella has said that at a time when construction costs are soaring and the undertaking of new home building projects has ground to a halt, failure to update the First Home Owner Grant to include existing housing is an oversight by the Palaszczuk government. 

“Despite a construction sector in crisis, and the government itself conceding that builders and building supplies are rare as hens’ teeth, the First Home Owners’ Grant continues to overlook established housing, remaining restricted to new construction,” she said. 

“With rising construction costs and financial entry barriers making building or purchasing a brand-new home simply unfeasible for many first home buyers, surely it’s time to extend this initiative to established housing options.”

Ms Mercorella elaborated further, saying that given the current rental crisis faced by the state, there should be more measures in place to help renters move into home ownership, with expanding the grant’s access to include existing housing would help facilitate this. 

Additionally, she said that while other states moved towards stamp duty reform, the Queensland government has made no moves towards removing this tax, which in turn places a further financial barrier to home ownership. 

“Stamp duty significantly hinders home ownership, discourages housing turnover, and restricts mobility, and its abolishment would open doors in Queensland,” Ms Mercorella said. 

“That’s why we’ve long advocated for a 10-year phase-out program and eventual abolishment of stamp duty by first introducing stamp duty exemptions allowing older Queenslanders to ‘rightsize’ into more suitable homes, and ultimately, replacing stamp duty with a broad-based land tax.” 

Ms Mercorella also stated that the REIQ has advocated for an investment in social housing, particularly for society’s most vulnerable and at-risk groups. The institute once more expressed its dissatisfaction with the government’s failure to address this issue in the budget.

“While we welcomed the $1 billion Housing Investment Fund generating $40 million a year for new housing supply and $1.9 billion for the Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-25 last year, we’re only seeing the same funding re-announced with demand outpacing the output.

“The housing crisis has seen us join state-wide calls from councils, community services and industry bodies for an increase in social housing funding – that sadly hasn’t materialised in this budget,” she added.

The REIQ also called for build-to-rent models to be made more appealing and slammed the government for introducing a new land tax regime for property investors.

Ms Mercorella said, “slapping yet another tax on property investors without any consultation with relevant property stakeholder groups is not the creative and positive action we so desperately need if we are going to tackle housing affordability and supply”.

Before concluding: “There’s been plenty of attention on winning the Olympics and the droves of interstate migrants choosing to call Queensland their home, but without a proper long-term plan of how our great state is going to put a roof over the heads of our growing population.” 

‘Disappointing’ Qld budget lacks long-term plan for housing: REIQ
Antonia Mercorella 2 reb
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