Australian Parliament
The budget should be brought down next month. Photo – Canva.
  • With the economy stabilising, REIA is calling for long-term property vision
  • Priorities include: homelessness, social housing, supply, sharing, build-to-rent
  • Focus should now be on "a post-Covid world, and a decade-long growth focus"

With 70,000 new jobs added and unemployment down to 5.6% (and as low as 4.8% in the West), the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is pushing for property to be front and centre of the upcoming federal budget’s vision.

With hints of an election in the air for later in the year, the May 2021 budget could contain some sweeteners. While over in the Liberal battleground (and electorally-important stronghold) state of Western Australia last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced $10 billion spending on aged care.

Yesterday, in a speech to the Business Council, he pledged millions of dollars in deregulation savings and digital investments for business.

Sounds like an election is brewing, to me.

Meanwhile, the REIA came out stating that as the virus had been ‘caught and managed’ in Australia, focus should now be on a post-Covid world, and a decade-long growth and property focus.

“Housing prices and affordability have been absolute flashpoint issues since the onset of the pandemic,” said REIA President Adrian Kelly in a statement.

“The National Housing and Finance Investment Corporation (NHFIC) reports around 17 key areas of stimulus by State and Federal Governments to boost homeownership and assist Australians out of rentals. As the housing market remains extremely competitive it is time to increase our efforts.”

Adrian Kelly, REIA President

Adrian Kelly
Adrian Kelly, REIA President. Photo – REIA.

Specifically, the REIA has called on the budget to do the following:

  • Address the deposit gap for first home buyers: expand the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) to be a long-term program.
  • Make property taxation incentives fairer: Interest rates for first home buyers should be tax deductible against an appropriate cap.
  • Help Australians that need it: Provide prolonged support for those working in sectors taking longer to recover from the Government-led shutdowns.

Mr Kelly said it was time for a national plan that covers all aspects of homeownership and living, including social housing, affordability issues, supply, sharing, built-to-rent, regionalisation and homelessness.

“We have seen so much investment into first home buyers, Homebuilder and social housing with the build-to-rent pipeline up 70% in the past year that we really need to get industry and government of all levels at the table to tackle housing from a bigger picture perspective.

“Our cities will need assistance as they re-adjust from lockdowns and continued support of work-from-home arrangements across the board. As COVID-19 support measures end, having a proper plan will only benefit Australians no matter what their situation is,” Mr Kelly said.

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