Election 2013: Real Estate Institute of Australia policy announcement
This week the REIA announced their 2013 election policies. The report’s title, Housing for all Australians, gets straight to the heart of its theme.
The opening statement from REIA’s President, Peter Bushby, lays a strong foundation for the argument that follows: housing affordability is an issue. And the trends are not in the right direction.
In a discussion with rebonline.com.au, Bushby stated that
Homeownership is declining after three decades of stable levels and first home buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to enter the housing market.
With first home buyers the headline issue, the report goes on to recommend some solid reforms although they are by no means radical suggestions.
The REIA calls for a recommitment to the housing related provisions in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations – Schedule A at a state and territory level. Section 30 of the Schedule mandates uniformity for first home owner incentive schemes and standardises eligibility criteria for these.
Effectively the REIA is calling on the new federal government, regardless of who is victor in the election, to push for the reinstatement of cash assistance for first home buyers across Australia. As stipulated in the IGA, this is would be $7,000 to eligible applicants buying a new home, regardless of whether it is a new or established dwelling.
In the recommendations for new schemes, the Institute has proposed that the government link a savings mechanism to existing rules for voluntary superannuation contributions. This would see voluntary super payments made accessible to those who want to withdraw cash before retirement for a deposit on their first home.
The report included a request for the expansion of schemes that support people to transition from social housing to privately rented homes.
The REIA will also seek the reversal of industrial relations amendments that protect penalty rates for workers, including those in the real estate industry.
You can download the PDF containing the REIA’s election priorities for 2013 here.