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  • Housing affordability and state property taxes a key concern for West Australians

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    In the lead up to Saturday’s State Election, REIWA has been campaigning for four key policy reforms designed to alleviate the financial burden that state property taxes, like transfer duty and land tax aggregation rules, have on the lives of everyday West Australians.

    As part of its campaign, REIWA conducted a series of surveys to gauge how state property taxes impact the WA public.

    REIWA President Hayden Groves said the results overwhelmingly demonstrate property is important to West Australians and confirm property taxes are a significant barrier to home ownership and property investment in WA.

    “90 per cent of respondents in our first survey told us they consider property taxes a barrier to owning or investing in property, while 67 per cent of respondents in our second survey didn’t think their home would be suitable as they got older. They also listed affordability, location and suitability as the issues they were most concerned about affecting them in their senior years.

    “In our final survey, 64 per cent of respondents said they’d consider buying an off-the-plan apartment if transfer duty rates were amended to be in line with house and land packages, while 62 per cent said affordability was the greatest housing concern for our changing population.

    “It’s concerning that so many West Australians are worried about housing affordability. Everyone deserves access to affordable and appropriate housing, and it’s imperative the incoming Government addresses these issues,” Mr Groves said.

    Where WA’s major parties stand on property issues

    REIWA is very pleased the Barnett Government listened to the concerns of the property industry by committing to not increasing state property taxes or creating new ones. In another big win for the WA community, they also announced they would look after seniors over 65 by introducing a $15,000 transfer duty concession on their primary residence up to the value of $750,000.

    “This concession will make a substantial difference to those seniors looking to “right size” into more suitable accommodation. It will help address the issues of housing affordability, choice and liveability, while freeing up larger homes for families trading up through the market.” Mr Groves said.

    The Institute has also expressed disappointment that Mark McGowan and the Labor party will bring in a new property tax on foreign buyers if elected.

    “For the Labor party to blindly follow in the footsteps of east coast State Governments, where foreign investment is high, without properly considering the impact this will have on our local property market is really disappointing,” Mr Groves said.

    “We also haven’t heard any commitment from Labor during this campaign period that they plan to do anything to help address housing affordability. If elected, I sincerely hope they can pledge to make property a priority, as affordable, accessible and appropriate housing is vital for WA.”

    State tax review required in WA

    Along with its four key policy reforms, REIWA is also calling on the newly elected State Government to commit to a state tax review to ensure long term reform.

    “This review must assess the viability of a shift to a broad-based land tax system that ultimately removes transfer duty, as well as consider the financial implications on the community,” Mr Groves said.

    “Property plays an important role in the broader community and is essential to WA’s long term prosperity. We look forward to working with the newly elected government and will continue to advocate for solutions to the issues of housing affordability, diversity and choice, which are impacted by property taxes.”