Politics plays with property market


By Evelyn Leckie

Experts are hopeful for brighter times in the real estate market, following the Coalition being re-elected and the announcement of the State Budget last month.

Real Estate Institute of Victoria president Robyn Waters said the State 2019/20 Budget had been adjusted to deal with the biggest write-down in revenue in Victoria’s history.

Ms Waters said Victoria’s property market was down with sales decreasing by 24 per cent.

“In particular, the REIV welcomes the payroll tax relief for small business and commends the government for adjusting the rates in regional Victoria so that by 2022/23 regional businesses will pay the lowest payroll tax in the nation,” she said.

“Victoria’s property industry remains the cornerstone of the Victorian Budget, continuing to contribute 46 per cent of revenue and $10.5 billion in land tax and stamp duty alone in the next financial year.

“The REIV is also pleased with the investment in new urban growth corridors and precinct plans which we have consistently advocated for.”

Ms Waters said the government had also committed $50 million for the Growing Suburbs Fund to build and upgrade new community facilities in Melbourne’s top 10 rapidly-developing municipalities, which includes Mitchell and Whittlesea.

“While we congratulate the Victorian Government on many positive initiatives, the reliance on property taxes is of great concern to our industry,” Ms Waters said.

LJ Hooker head of research Mathew Tiller said the re-elected federal Coalition needed to ensure it was focused on the strength of the industry that employed one in four Australians.

“The stability of a familiar government will boost confidence in the property market, encourage vendors to list their property and embolden buyers to re-engage with what’s on offer,” Mr Tiller said.

Mr Tiller also welcomed the Coalition’s promise to support first-home buyers.

“This will provide a much-needed helping hand to those looking to get their foot on the first rung of the property ladder,” he said.

“However, this policy and the timing of the announcement shows that housing policy has become an election gimmick, which is only rolled out during the later stages of a tight election campaign.”

Mr Tiller said the new government needed to consider, plan and implement a comprehensive, long-term housing solution.

He said it should include social and affordable housing, build-to-rent, taxation, construction and solutions for all market participants.

Wallan-based real estate agent Peter Hess, from Max Brown Real Estate Group, said the re-elected government would have a positive outcome on the local property market.

“If the opposition had won, Capital Gains Tax would have been affected having a negative impact on the market,” Mr Hess said.

From a lender’s perspective, a Bendigo Bank spokesperson told the North Central Review the bank welcomed any initiatives that put customers’ interests first and delivered better outcomes for everyone.

“Connected, skilled and empowered communities also need access to capital. Reducing complexity and streamlining ways communities can access funding and partner with all tiers of government to realise growth opportunities is important,” the spokesperson said.

“We would like to see government find ways to improve how the public sector, private sector, local, regional and metropolitan communities collaborate so that empowered communities can implement initiatives they know will improve their prospects.

“After all, connected and organised communities know their circumstances better than anyone.”