A VOTE FOR FAIR HOUSING REFORM IS AN OPPORTUNITY
THE State Government pulls about a third of its revenue through property taxes, so it is imperative our politicians get their stance on the housing market right. Whichever party wins the March election will have to harness housing affordability concerns while helping the market to encourage opportunities for buyers. REIWA arguably has its own agenda for stimulating a stagnant market but the crux of its election campaigning is fair - if the cost of moving increases, people naturally will move less. The peak real estate body wants the Government to offer stamp duty exemptions encouraging seniors to downsize, or “right-size”, their accommodation. It also seeks a 50 per cent duty discount for off-the-plan apartment purchases, which are assessed in full, while land packages are assessed only on the land component. Either act could inspire more property transactions. The abolition of land tax aggregation rules, a freeze on property taxes and a State tax review round out REIWA's wish-list. It will be interesting to see how the major parties tackle housing and if their strategies for votes provide satisfactory reform.
Matt Zis, Editor In Chief