As the rental crisis in Australia continues to heat up, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has raised concerns following the release of the Final Report into “The worsening rental crisis in Australia”. Released on December 7, 2023, the report compiled a collection of 26 disparate recommendations, which according to the REIA President, Leanne Pilkington, signify a distressing lack of cohesion across political lines in addressing the nation’s housing concerns.
Ms. Pilkington expressed disappointment with the parliamentary process, stating, “Over 16,000 submissions were contributed to this Inquiry by renters, homeowners, family investors, industry and community advocates however we did not see a single common Recommendation being given multipartisan support.”
The Report pointed out several crucial issues and potential initiatives, emphasizing the importance of investor support in the rental market, tenant-centric transactions, substantial increases to Commonwealth Rental Assistance, urgent home ownership and stamp duty reforms, and the construction of additional housing, especially for the more vulnerable groups. It also outlined the need for the Federal Government to coordinate policies, tenant support, and funding more effectively.
Despite these considerations, Ms. Pilkington acknowledged positives in the response from state and territory governments regarding rental regulation. “We thank State and Territory Governments for rejecting rent freezes and rent controls as per their commitment from the National Cabinet meetings in August 2023,” she said.
Furthermore, the REIA President criticized certain report recommendations, such as redirecting ‘foregone revenue’ from negative gearing and Capital Gains Tax concessions, which she believes will neither bolster housing supply nor aid budget restoration.
The Australian Government is expected to respond to the Senate Inquiry report within a three-month timeframe, a period that will be closely monitored by industry stakeholders and the wider community alike as the housing supply dilemma persists.