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  • 16 Oct 2022
  • 5 min read
  • By Claire Ryan

Multi-faceted approach key to solving supply crunch, says REIQ

Housing Supply , Housing Summit , Housing Crisis

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is encouraging the government and stakeholders at the upcoming Housing Summit to take a multi-faceted approach to address the state’s housing crisis.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said as the state’s peak body representing real estate professionals, the REIQ had outlined immediate and longer-term solutions that tackle both the supply and demand sides of the equation.

“Given the current challenges of scarcity of land, labour and building supplies, the sad reality is there is no overnight solution to the serious housing supply shortage we’re facing,” Ms Mercorella said.

“However, this Housing Summit presents an opportunity to give serious consideration to a whole range of policies that could help restore some balance and reduce pressure on the market.

“It’s a chance to think innovatively about how we can better utilise and free up existing housing stock, and better plan and build for our future housing needs.”

Ms Mercorella said given the immediate need of the crisis, it was time for government to try taking a carrot rather than a stick approach to maximise existing shelter and restore property investor confidence in our state.

“There are immediate actions we could be taking now to tap into existing supply through incentives, such as providing stamp duty relief to downsizing over 55’s – a win-win which allows them to move to easier-upkeep homes, while opening up housing stock for younger-growing families,” she said.

“We’d also like to see choice opened by for first home buyers by extending the First Home Owners’ Grant to established properties, to help more people enter the market and take pressure off rentals.

“A new loan deposit guarantee scheme for first home buyers and key workers would also be a welcome reprieve supporting home-ownership pathways.

“Stamp duty reductions could also be offered to long-term investors in exchange for a minimum time commitment to keep an investment property on the long-term rental market.

“Consideration should be given to ways to incentivise people with a holiday home, or investors with a property on the short-term letting market, to bring these properties on to the long-term rental market.

“Equally, there are opportunities to unlock new areas for housing, such as rezoning underutilised commercial spaces that are sitting vacant.

“All these incentives are examples of immediate ways we could start unlock existing housing today which would help alleviate some of the pressure on the rental market.”

To kick-start longer-term solutions, the REIQ is calling for the establishment of key working groups.

“All three levels of government and key property stakeholder groups have the opportunity to work together in a bi-partisan fashion to develop a long-term housing roadmap to keep pace with our growing population – starting with the establishment of this working group,” Ms Mercorella said.

“We’d also like to see new and innovative housing solutions and concepts, such as co-ownership and rent-to-own initiatives, explored through the establishment of a Housing Innovation Forum.”

Parallel to providing immediate relief, the REIQ says it’s imperative that longer-term solutions and planning is set in motion now.

“Back in 2008, the Henry Tax Review identified stamp duty as one of the most inefficient taxes, distorting the economy and stopping activity that might have otherwise occurred,” she said.

“It’s high time for governments to start tackling stamp duty reform, transitioning away from significant, upfront financial barriers to a long-term smoothed land tax model.

“Further, in order to deliver increased housing supply to those who need it most, we encourage changes to tax settings to stimulate build-to-rent developments, like we’ve seen with the land tax concession in Western Australia.

“The REIQ would like to see the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) offer low interest loans to minority and vulnerable groups, as well as first home buyers, to help more Queenslanders achieve their home ownership dreams.

“We would also like to see consistent minimum housing standards across the state so that planning timeframes could be expedited, granted by the simplification and standardisation of the same rules applying no matter what local government the project falls within.

“Given the current construction crisis, the REIQ supports establishing innovative forms of house manufacturing in the state, looking at concepts such as prefabricated modular homes and utilising construction materials generated through the circular economy that aren’t subject to supply chain pressures.

“The REIQ also supports the creation of true commuter belts and satellite cities, as detailed by the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

“We also echo Q Shelter’s push for more social and emergency housing to be built to reduce the social housing waitlist.”

The REIQ is supportive of housing policies that:

  • encourage investment in Queensland property;
  • provide fair and balanced residential tenancy frameworks;
  • support home-ownership pathways;
  • provide flexible and diverse housing choices; and
  • are innovative and respond to current and emerging issues.

Media enquiries: Claire Ryan, Media and Stakeholder Relations Manager, The Real Estate Institute of Queensland M: 0417 623 723 E: media@reiq.com.au

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