Peak property industry bodies demand conversation about negative gearing

Peak property industry bodies demand conversation about negative gearing

THE peak property industry bodies in WA are demanding a healthy conversation with the community and politicians from all sides of the negative gearing debate during the election campaign.

REIWA recently launched a public campaign to seek the thoughts and opinions of West Australians who use property to help shape their lives and secure their futures.

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA), Property Council and Master Builders Association are also conducting public campaigns in the lead up to the Federal Election to inform the public about the benefits all sectors of the community derive as a result of the existing negative gearing policy.

REIWA chief executive Neville Pozzi reiterated the need for local conversation.

“Investors provide much-needed private rental accommodation for West Aussies, which supports the State Government’s provision of social housing,” he said.

“Affordability is a key concern for REIWA and must be addressed through planning and development reform, state reform and housing supply levers.

“At a time when the WA property market is softening, any proposed changes to negative gearing will be a blow to market sentiment.

“The WA private rental market provides over 175,000 properties, with over 60 per cent of those managed by real estate agents.”

At a national level, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) recently released a campaign that highlighted how negative gearing affected the wider community.

Property Council executive director Lino Iacomella reaffirmed REIA’s national message that negative gearing should not be altered.

“The facts are that it makes no sense to target the one part of the economy that is contributing to growth by playing around with these tax settings,” he said.

UDIA WA chief executive Allison Hailes also said: “The combination of negative gearing and capital gains tax creates a rational incentive for private investment into low-yielding rental housing.

“This increases the pool of affordable housing that’s available to low-income earners and is critical to the economy,” she said.

Master Builders director Michael McLean said another problem contributing to declining affordable housing is the lack of new homes being built to meet demand, forcing up prices.

“Instead of restricting negative gearing, governments would be better served in increasing the supply of affordable housing and cutting red and green tape,” he said.

“Forcing investors to buy newly built dwellings has some attractions to the residential sector, but it will distort market forces and ultimately reduce the supply of housing for owners and renters.”

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