Forecasts released by the Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) today reinforce the dire need for more support for the property industry from the State Government according to the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA).

The HIFG has revised down it’s forecasts for 2019/20 dwelling commencements in WA from 15,500 in November 2019 to just 12,500.

“These results reinforce what we are already starting to see happen in the land and housing markets across the state,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said.

“Rising unemployment, stagnant population growth and broader economic challenges are all conspiring to jeopardise the sustainability of the new land and housing markets in the coming six to twelve months,” Ms Steinbeck said

“The property and development industry represent 15% of all employment in Western Australia,” Ms Steinbeck said.  “Furthermore, every job within the housing construction sector generates a further two in the broader economy.”

“Supporting the industry that supports the broader economy is critical to our state’s potential for economic recovery and in terms of maintaining much needed jobs,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“UDIA WA has been very supportive of the McGowan governments actions to date.  First and foremost, this has been a health crisis and they have responded swiftly and effectively,” Ms Steinbeck said.   “There have also been initial inroads to supporting industry such as more streamlined processes and planning exemptions and a welcome focus on facilitating shovel ready projects.”

“What we need now is a much more direct focus on the residential housing and development sector,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Measures should include market stimulus and tax relief to assist buyers and bolster confidence,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“While prioritising infrastructure delivery and streamlining approvals processes is paramount, UDIA WA is supportive of tax reform including broadening the stamp duty rebate scheme to all properties and extending its period of operation in the short term,” Ms Steinbeck said.

In the longer term, UDIA WA is very keen for the state government to step up and commit to investigating replacing stamp duty altogether with a broad-based land tax system.

“The current crisis together with stamp duty rebates currently offered provides a perfect opportunity to start the transition to a broader based tax system,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“Replacing stamp duty with a broad-based land-tax would strengthen demand and reduce the barriers to people moving home.”

View the HIFG report here.

Gemma Osiejak

Executive Manager Communications and Marketing
P: 0421 506 819