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The peak governing body for the property industry has outlined a dozen priorities to help grow the property sector.
While acknowledging the current support from the government, which stabilised property prices through the COVID-19 period, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has outlined what it hopes will be included in the next federal budget.
The REIA said that over 80 per cent of agents surveyed in 2020 believed that ongoing solutions would be needed such as extended JobKeeper and rental support for Australians impacted by sectors unable to recover, including tourism and international education.
As part of its plan, the REIA has called for interest payments on mortgages to be made tax-deductible for first-time buyers, to lift first home buyers’ interaction with the market in a post-pandemic environment.
“REIA estimates this would provide a benefit of around $4,000 per annum to Australia’s first home buyers (which NHFIC places at around 15 per cent of the housing spectrum). At least six other OECD nations have a similar incentive,” REIA president Adrian Kelly said.
Mr Kelly also said that first home buyers should be supported through allowing to use voluntary super contributions and earning towards buying a home and expanding the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. (FHLDS)
The REIA is also calling for support for the industry as a whole, with real estate agents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic getting exemptions.
“We’re proposing a kit that is a predictive tool to assess a business’s viability, and while the kit can be used at any stage of the business lifecycle, it is particularly useful to prevent financial stress,” Mr Kelly said.
“Assistance from $2,000 to $5,000 per agency will allow for the individual advice from a trusted adviser to improve financial viability and productivity, which will assist in the government achieving a higher economic growth rate than would otherwise be the case.”
“Cash flow problems continue to be a major issue for small businesses, with 90 per cent of small-business failures due to poor cash flow management,” he said.
Mr Kelly concluded that there is a need for policies and investments that will continue to drive growth in the property.
“Wherever you are in the housing market, an agent, tenant, buyer, investor or vendor, there should be support for you in the next federal budget to have confidence to succeed in a COVIDN normal Australia.”