Comment News (Gosnells) - - Residential -

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.

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