REIA welcome Opposition housing announcement to address housing crisis

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has welcomed the suite of housing policies announced today by the Leader of the Opposition and the Shadow Minister for Housing in their pitch to Australian households.

REIA President Hayden Groves said they welcomed the Help to Buy but also the Help to Supply announcement.

We applaud the commitment to develop a National Housing and Homelessness Plan which is badly needed for all parties to come to the table and identify innovative solutions to unlock supply.

An evidence-based approach to a National Supply and Affordability Council with the right objective experts should provide a proper annual benchmark for Australias supply crunch.

Only with dealing with supply will affordability barriers be overcome.

With the reforms to negative gearing proposed by the Opposition now formally archived and promised to tenants and investors it is great to see a focus on the big picture, Mr Groves said.

More details needed about Help to Buy

REIA have called for more details to be released about the Help to Buy initiative.

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, Mr Groves said.

Based on the median first home buyer home loan of $459,256 this will generate around $4.5 billion each year in sales based on current market conditions.

Whilst an expensive program to administrate over the long term the benefits of home ownership to Australians are clear: they live healthier, happier and more successful lives in their working life and retirement.

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 said.

According to REIAs Housing Affordability Report, housing affordability continued its decline over the December quarter of 2021, with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments reaching 37 per cent.

The report found the number of first home buyers decreased to 37,620, a fall of 0.4 per cent during the quarter with first home buyers now making up 34.1 per cent of owner occupier dwelling commitments, a decrease of 7.8 percentage points over the year.

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