Property industry seeks community involvement in negative gearing debate



The peak property industry bodies in WA have come together for the first time to highlight their concerns about the potential impacts that changes to negative gearing could have for the community. 

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia recently launched a public campaign to seek the thoughts and opinions of West Australians who use property to help shape their lives and secure their future. The campaign raises local issues and facts on the importance of property investment. 

The UDIA, Property Council and Master Builders Association are also conducting public campaigns in the lead up to the Federal Election to inform the public about the benefits that all sectors of the community derive as a result of negative gearing policy. 

REIWA CEO Neville Pozzi reiterated the need for a local conversation. 

“Investors provide much needed private rental accommodation for West Aussies which supports the State Government’s provision of social housing. Affordability is a key concern for REIWA and must be addressed through planning and development reform, state tax reform and housing supply levers. 

“At a time when the WA property market is softening any proposed changes to negative gearing will be a blow to market sentiment. The WA private rental market provides over 175,000 properties, with over 60 per cent of those managed by real estate agents1,” Mr Pozzi said. 

At a national level the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) recently released a campaign that highlights how negative gearing affects everyone. 

Lino Iacomella, Property Council WA Executive Director, reaffirmed their national message that negative gearing should not be played with. 

“The facts are that it makes no sense to target the one part of the economy that is contributing to growth by playing around with these tax settings,” he said. 

“The combination of Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax creates a rational incentive for private investment into low yielding rental housing,” said UDIA WA CEO Allison Hailes. ”This increases the pool of affordable housing that’s available to low income earners and is critical to the economy.” 

“The real problem contributing to declining affordable housing is that not enough new homes are being built to meet demand which is forcing up the price,” said Master Builders Director, Michael McLean. 

“Instead of restricting negative gearing, Governments would be better served in increasing the supply of affordable housing and cutting red and green tape. 

“Forcing investors to buy newly built dwellings has some attractions to the residential building sector, but it will distort market forces and ultimately reduce the supply of housing for owners and renters,” Mr McLean said. 

The property industry wants a healthy conversation with the WA community and politicians from all sides of the debate during this election campaign. 

View the latest findings from REIWA's survey.