HOUS­ING RE­FORM VOT­ING WIN­DOW

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopinion -

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 “right­size”, 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

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