Industry sets expectations for Albanese government

By Juliet Helmke 24 May 2022 | 1 minute read

Now that the 2022 federal election has been decided, the industry is watching keenly to see how Labor’s housing promises will play out.

Hayden Groves, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, called to a number of the new government’s pre-election pledges on Sunday (22 May) in asserting the widely held hope that changes are in the pipeline for the property market.

In congratulating the incoming ruling party, he reiterated the industry’s desire to see the government play an active role in addressing the country’s present housing challenges.

“We applaud the commitment to develop a National Housing and Homelessness Plan, which is badly needed, as well as the innovative solutions to unlock supply,” Mr Groves said.

The institute had particularly petitioned for the creation of a national strategy for housing and expressed high hopes for Labor’s promise to create a council to address affordability and supply – particularly that the industry’s leaders will be included in such a forum.

“An evidence-based approach to a National Supply and Affordability Council with the right objective experts – including real estate practitioners – should provide a proper annual benchmark for Australia’s supply crunch,” Mr Groves said.

He added that the institute looked forward to the implementation of the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

“The proposed keystart-style program, Help to Buy, for 10,000 eligible low- and middle-income earners a year, is a sensible thing and REIA has supported the development of a feasibility study for a national keystart-style program in the past,” he said.

“A critical part of the success of Help to Buy will be the option for customers to buy back the equity stake that government takes over the long term to return to the private property market,” Mr Groves added.

Meanwhile, Real Estate Institute of NSW chief executive Tim McKibbin said he would be watching to see the impact of this program on the housing prices.

“The concern with this policy is that it adds to the demand side of the equation when in New South Wales, the lack of supply is the major cause of the affordability problem,” he remarked.

Though auction clearance rates took a tumble over the weekend with Australians’ sights set elsewhere, Mr Groves noted he was pleased to see that this election cycle had not had the cooling effect of previous years, when negative gearing policies came into play.

“Feedback received by agents on the ground is that this election has not had the market-interrupting effect it usually has, and a lot of that is due to negative gearing being safe due to REIA’s advocacy,” he said.

He also thanked outgoing Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar, who Mr Groves noted had “spearheaded the First Home Loan Grant Deposit Scheme, which has allowed many to achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership”.

Mr Sukkar currently appears to be at risk of losing his seat of Deakin, in Melbourne’s outer east.

The Property Council of Australia (PCA) highlighted the challenges facing the new government’s minister for housing and similarly remarked on the previous administration’s performance while weathering significant hurdles. 

“On behalf of the Property Council, I thank outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the government for their service to the nation, particularly in dealing with the immense challenges of the global pandemic,” PCA chief executive Ken Morrison said.

“Few previous governments have had to face a crisis of this magnitude.

“We look forward to working with an Albanese government on the pressing issues of housing affordability, the skills challenges facing business and helping our cities and suburbs thrive.”

About the author

Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York... Read more

Industry sets expectations for Albanese government
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