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  • REIWA President Damian Collins has highlighted the importance of the property market to the economy
  • Calls for stamp duty reform
  • Proposes plan to counter WA’s rental shortage
  • Additionally encourages reform in small business sales and commercial tenancies

Although the local property market remained highly resilient in the face Covid-19, Mr Collins stresses that reform in multiple areas is needed to continue this growth.

Taxes on property and the rental shortage are two areas he says are especially of concern.

Stamp duty

Mr Collins argues that stamp duty is continuing to push home ownership out for many Western Australians.

As a solution, he is proposing a ‘ two-stream revenue collection method whereby buyers can decide between paying an upfront cost – similar to the current system – or an ongoing annual payment.  The idea has been flirted within New South Wales who are currently conducting their own review.

“Allowing this choice will provide a more equitable taxation system,” says Mr Collins.

“With New South Wales conducting their own review on the century-old tax to determine the best option forward, WA should also be on the forefront and finding ways that makes home ownership more affordable for West Aussies.”

A public survey from December 2020 conducted by REIWA found that 60 per cent of buyers would opt for the annual fee if this system was in place.

Rental Shortage

According to REIWA, WA continues to be the most affordable state in rent in Australia, but is concerned about the lack of supply.

To counter this Mr Collins argues for short-term financial incentives such as stamp duty and land tax rebates for investors, alongside legislation to protect tenants and owners alike.

“In addition, legislative reforms such as the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) need to ensure a fair rental system for tenants and owners and therefore it is important that the upcoming review of the RTA remains fair for all parties,” says Mr Collins.

“Some of the changes proposed in the current reforms pose a significant risk to the rights of owners and must be addressed, especially changes that erodes the rights of owners which will only deter investment and continue to decrease supply.”

The report also calls for reform in other areas such as removing stamp duty when purchasing a small business and changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act that allows vendors to be more innovative with their offerings to compete with online retail.

If you would like to find out more about the reform, read REIWA’s submission.

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