Property Industry Support for Housing Affordability Package

The housing affordability measures before the Parliament are sensible and prudent measures that will help ease Australians entering the housing market.

“There are three things that are vital to helping more Australians enter the housing market – lifting housing supply, keeping rental growth low, and closing the deposit gap. The measures put forward in this year’s Budget do that”, said Glenn Byres, Chief of Policy and Housing for the Property Council of Australia.

“The First Home Saver Super Scheme is a non-inflationary measure that helps people bridge the deposit gap. Importantly, it does not touch the baseline superannuation contributed by members.

“This is a capped scheme that allows savers to use salary sacrifice payments (above the 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee levy) of up to $30,000 for single people and $60,000 for couples for a home deposit.

Mr Byres said the Property Council supports the decision to end the deductibility of ‘transport costs’ to inspect investment properties.

“Negative gearing is a vital part of the taxation system. The change to transport costs will save the Budget $800 million – and this demonstrates that the change is an integrity measure.”

Mr Byres said the housing affordability package also included needed measures to encourage older Australians to downsize.

“One of the great inefficiencies of the housing market relates to transaction costs. We have too many disincentives for older Australians to downsize.

“Across Australia, we see older people living in four and five-bedroom houses that no longer suit their lifestyle because there are financial disincentives to downsize.

“We welcome the incentive to use superannuation to help older Australians downsize. It’s a sensible measure. We need more measures like this one.”

Mr Byres said however that the measures to target foreign investment will not solve housing affordability.

“We’ve consistently urged policy makers to fix underlying issues across planning and tax systems that act as a barrier to supply, rather than focus on symbolic gestures.”

Media contact: Paul Ritchie  |  pritchie@propertycouncil.com.au