Housing ignored in Federal Budget
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president David Airey said that although Tuesday’s Federal Budget ignored housing affordability, it was not the horror Budget that was expected. ‘‘The Budget is a ‘mixed bag’, with both positive and negative implications for the real estate profession and the housing market,’’ he said. On a positive note, the much-speculated changes to negative gearing arrangements that REIA lobbied against had been rejected. Of great disappointment was that there were no measures in the Budget to assist those that REIA referred to as being an endangered species — first-home buyers. First-home buyers currently represent about 15 per cent of buyers in the housing market, compared to 30 per cent in October 2009. ‘‘This is a market segment that desperately needs assistance to fund home purchase. REIA recommended in its Pre-Budget submission that the government conduct a review of the First-Home Owner Grant and consider providing first home buyers access to superannuation for the purchase of a home,’’ Mr Airey said. ‘‘This Budget will do little to stave off expected increases in interest rates, a concern, given the critical state of affordability. ‘‘It is disappointing that the Government has not realised the value of implementing longterm solutions to address housing affordability. We need to look at practical measures to give first-home buyers the opportunity to realise the dream of owning their own home,’’ he said.