‘Time to get on with it’ – REIA President’s blunt message

The uncertainty that has plagued the property market for months “went out the window at 8pm on Saturday night”, according to Real Estate Institute of Australia President Adrian Kelly.

thanks – therealestateconversation.com.au

The Coalition achieved an emphatic, if not surprising, win over Labor in the federal election, with swings in Queensland, Tasmania and WA securing the result.

REIA President Adrian Kelly told WILLIAMS MEDIA the result meant there was a clear way forward for Australia’s housing market.

“There’s plenty of room for improvement and we look forward to working with the government on those things,” he said.

At a glance:

  • The Coalition triumphed in Saturday’s federal election, bringing months of speculation regarding potential changes to negative gearing to an end.
  • The Real Estate Institute of Australia’s election campaign regarding the changes managed to reach 10.6 million people.
  • President Adrian Kelly said the campaign showed what could be accomplished through collaboration.

“The election is out of the way and we will probably have a majority government, so now we can just continue to get on with it.”

“We know what is coming, which is important for investors, as well as banking institutions.”

Saturday marked the end of campaigning, not only for the two major parties but also for the REIA, which has distributed materials on its various platforms throughout the past five weeks to raise awareness of the potential impact of Labor’s negative gearing changes.

According to the REIA, the campaign reached 10.6 million Australians throughout the time it was active.

Mr Kelly said the level of engagement was reflected in the margin of victory.

“I think the campaign played a massive role in the final result,” he said.

“I suspect that before the campaign started, not too many Australians knew what negative gearing and capital gains tax were.

“They definitely did by the end, which I think goes to show what can be achieved by collaboration.

“None of us should be afraid of good quality policy changes and we still remain that way.”

‘All we wanted to do was raise awareness’

The real estate industry came under fire from the Grattan Institute in the days before the election for it’s “jumped-up scare campaign” regarding Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax.

In an article published on The Conversation last week, Budget Policy and Institutional Reform Program Director, Danielle Wood, accused a firm of real estate agents of “abusing its position of trust to scare renters about Labor’s proposed negative gearing changes”, going to state that renters had “nothing to fear” from the changes.

She referenced material from the REIA that was sent to tenants by a Raine and Horne Principal.

Related Reading: Real estate sector gears up for May 18

Responding to the article, Mr Kelly said it was always the intention of the REIA to run a “clean campaign”.

“We tried to stay away from the Labor party per se and just stick to what the policy was,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate when those things become clouded, which this obviously did.

“All we wanted to do was to raise awareness about how important housing is for Australians, which we definitely did.”

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison. Source: PCA

‘A clear message’

Labor’s plan to reform negative gearing and half the capital gains tax discount has also come under heavy scrutiny from the Property Council of Australia, which commissioned a survey of investors in the lead up to the election.

According to the results, the majority of those surveyed believed the policy would not create the stimulus for new housing construction that the ALP has assumed.

In a statement released on Sunday, Property Council Chief executive Ken Morrison said voters had sent a “clear message” to the parties to leave negative gearing and capital gains tax alone.

“Labor had more than three years and two elections to try and persuade Australians of the merits of their policy, and they have been rejected on both occasions,” he said.

“Australia’s housing markets – worth nearly three times the value of the stock market – are undergoing significant transitions with big impacts on the economy, households and housing choices.

“It will be important that the policy framework for housing be front and centre of the government’s agenda over this term of parliament.”

By Sean Slatter

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