offered to industry,” he said.
“First-home buyer numbers have been decreasing over a sustained period and this announcement will likely impact them even more. This isn’t a prudent move, not from an economic sense or from a social perspective.”
Shelter WA said the State Government should consider other avenues to improve budget sustainability and improve housing affordability.
Spokesman Stephen Hall said if the government was serious about budget repair, together with long-term sustainable funding sources, it should move from stamp duty to a broad-based land tax.
“Stamp duty has widely been recognised to have a detrimental impact on residential mobility, housing affordability and efficient use of the housing stock,” he said.
“Moving from stamp duty will be more effective for first, and all, homebuyers.
“As WA’s population ages, this would be an effective response to support seniors to downsize and free up housing stock throughout the state.”
The Real Estate Institute of WA (REIWA) has also weighed in on the State Government’s budgetary measures, and said any levy on investors to help raise State revenue would be short-sighted and irresponsible.
Investors could face a $270 levy as part of the Government's attempts to fix the budget, but REIWA councillor Suzanne Brown said it was disappointing the industry had not been consulted on any potential policy change.
“The private rental market is crucial to the provision of rental accommodation in WA, and this levy (would) only increase the cost of owning a rental property and make it a less viable investment option,” she said.
“With vacancy rates sitting at an all-time high of 6.5 per cent, WA investors are already doing it tough. Slapping them with an additional cost in an already soft market is a knee-jerk reaction that will do more harm than good.”
REIWA understands the levy would be on water rates and apply to investors with a gross rental value of $24,000 or more.
At the time of writing, the State Government had neither confirmed nor ruled out the levy, however a spokesperson for Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the levy was just one of numerous proposals being considered by the Government.
All options would go through the normal budgetary process, with any changes to be announced by July 1.
HIA WA executive director John Gelavis.
REIWA councillor Suzanne Brown.