Anthony Albanese parliament dispatch box speaking
Anthony Albanese during his budget reply speech. Image – Parliament House, Canberra.
  • Property Council thanked Scott Morrison for his service and congratulated Anthony Albanese on becoming Prime Minister
  • PIPA Chair Nicola McDougall saif the rental crisis should be a priority for the government
  • During the campaign, the ALP announced a new Federal government home equity scheme, among other housing measures

After almost three terms of Coalition government, Labor Anthony Albanese came out ahead in terms of seats during Saturday’s election, although is still shy of gaining a majority.

Likely, Mr Albanese will lead a minority government consisting of Greens and independents – including the Teals – in the crossbench.

After former Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat on Saturday night, the Property Council acknowledged Mr Morrison’s achievements, especially in the handling of the pandemic, before congratulating the new government.

“The Property Council congratulates Anthony Albanese and federal Labor on their historic electoral victory and we look forward to working with an Albanese Government over this next term.,” said Ken Morrison, Property Council of Australia Chief Executive.

“We have worked closely with Mr Albanese and his senior colleagues in opposition and government over many years and we know the experience they bring to their new roles.

“The property industry employs 1.4 million Australians, shapes the future of our cities and provides the housing our growing communities need.

“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.”

Ken Morrison, Property Council of Australia

Rental crisis a priority

The chair of the Property Investment Professions of Australia (PIPA) and fellow The Property Tribune contributor, Nicola McDougall, said the current rental property crisis must be prioritised, especially given the situation is expected to worsen due to softer market conditions and rising interest rates.

“Investors have been mostly missing from the property market since well before the last Federal Election, predominantly due to nationwide investment lending restrictions, but also because of the political posturing on negative gearing during the last election campaign,” Ms McDougall said.

“Investor activity only returned to historical averages in March this year, which means they have not been significantly adding to rental supply for the best part of five years.

“With markets cooling and interest rates rising it is likely that investors will retreat from the market once more, which will further exacerbate the financial pain that tenants are experiencing.”

Nicola mcdougall
Nicola McDougall. Image supplied.

She noted that over 70% of Australian investors own just one property, as a tool to improve their finances during retirement.

“Rather than continuing to view investors as ‘greedy’ or an endless source of funds for government coffers, perhaps it’s time to recognise that they also provide rental housing for millions of Australians?

“Indeed, it an uncomfortable truth for some that the present rental crisis is predominantly a result of investor inactivity over recent years, which is hardly a sign of ‘greed’ when markets have been booming like never before.”

Affordability still a key issue

During the election campaign, cost of living was regarded as the top issue by many Australians. This included mortgage affordability, which saw immense attention after the Reserve Bank lifted the cash rate for the first time since November 2010 earlier this month.

One measure announced during the campaign was Help to Buy, a shared equity scheme whereby the government would assist eligible buyers by contributing up to 40% of the purchase price of the home, similar to the Keystart scheme in WA.

Though some criticised the scheme as not solving the fundamental issue of low housing stock nationally, it certainly achieved nowhere near as much criticism as the then Federal government’s plan to allow home buyers to use some of their super as a deposit on their home.

“We welcome initiatives that help Australians to own their own home – something which very closely aligns to our purpose at Great Southern Bank,” said Megan Keleher Chief Customer Officer of Great Southern Bank.

“We see firsthand that saving for a deposit is the biggest challenge faced by first homebuyers. The Help to Buy shared equity scheme will provide another pathway for some homebuyers to overcome this challenge.”

“We look forward to the creation of the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council, as we see every day how housing affordability presents a challenge to would-be homebuyers

“We look forward to helping thousands more Australians through the updated Home Guarantee Scheme and welcome the higher property price caps, which will give homebuyers more choice of properties in the suburb they want to live.”

Time will tell to see ultimately the impact of the Labor government on the Australian property sector.

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