The Queensland real estate sector, which employs more than 50,000 people, and through its property taxes such as stamp duty deliver some of the biggest revenue streams to the Government coffers, was ignored in the State Budget this week.
As property prices soften in the Sunshine State, the Government had an opportunity to help the industry with confidence-boosting measures that would encourage Queenslanders to invest in property.
Brisbane LGA median house price growth has softened to 1.5 per cent in the latest median house price figures, demonstrating a slowing market.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the Budget was a disappointment, with little to help the real estate sector at such a fragile time.
“We have been advocating long and hard for measures that would help young Queenslanders get their foot on the first rung of the property ladder, through the First Home Owners Grant being broadened to include established homes.
“Not everyone wants to build their first home and in regional Queensland particularly, there are homes that are already built that are cheaper than building new. The grant could help those people into their first property.
“The data is very clear – the grant is not being used outside the southeast corner and this is a measure that is failing regional Queensland.
“It’s disappointing to see the Labor Government at a state and federal level treat the property sector so poorly,” she said.
Ms Mercorella said a significant issue facing the Queensland property sector was the lengthening hold periods as people stayed in their homes longer, slowing turnover and stifling mobility.
“Stamp duty is a significant impost and adds, often, tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of the move. We’ve been advocating for a discount for older Queenslanders who are continuing to live in the family home long after it is fit for purpose.
“Encouraging these Queenslanders to “right-size” their principal place of residence will free up significant levels of stock and enable a young family to up-size their family home,” she said.
Ms Mercorella said the challenges facing the property sector were not easy to solve, but a lack of confidence is a key theme throughout the issue.
“We need all levels of government to think more creatively about the problems facing the real estate sector and tackle the issues in an innovative way.”