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A radical plan to kickstart economic recovery post-COVID-19 could see Australians handed $50,000 for buying a new home.
It’s just one element of a seven-point plan put forward by the Property Council to stimulate construction, grow skills, attract investment and boost confidence across the property industry.
Considering it a “demand stimulus” to kickstart construction and the economy, the Property Council believes such a scheme could stimulate the building of 50,000 new dwellings, support more than 200,000 jobs and bring forward market demand for new housing.
The $50,000 grant would only be applicable to purchasers of newly constructed dwellings, at an expected cost of $2.5 billion to the federal government.
With no pricing cap, the Property Council said the aim will be to bring forward all possible market demand and stimulate the greatest economic response, despite being limited to just 50,000 purchasers.
According to the proposal, this scheme would sit on top of current first home buyer grants, stamp duty concessions and foreign investor surcharge relief that’s either already on offer or being contemplated by each of the states and territories.
It’s also calling for an unlocking of the $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Facility that’s managed by the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to facilitate new housing projects.
The Property Council is also recommending broad-based tax reform, including the abolition of stamp duty.
It’s proposed that this revenue stream could be replaced by a broadening of the GST base in the medium term while existing negative gearing and capital gains tax settings could be retained.
Elsewhere, the Property Council is hoping to improve housing affordability through the recommendation of permanent improvements to planning systems, support for an emergence of Build-to-Rent, and incentivisation of such projects in the private sector.