The REIQ is disappointed in today’s announcement from the State Treasurer that the Government would not broaden the first home buyer grant to include established homes.
REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said the Government was not listening to the needs of regional Queenslanders.
“We always welcome measures that help first home buyers get into the market,” she said.
“However, our concern is for the long-term impact and the bigger picture in regional Queensland, where new construction is exacerbating the oversupply issues that these markets are facing.
“House values are falling, with some markets as much as 30 per cent below levels five years ago. Continuously adding supply of housing to oversupplied markets is irresponsible and will slow down any future recovery.
“The Treasurer wants us to believe the only way to economic stability is through residential housing construction, but that’s simply not true.
“Real estate is one of the State’s largest employers, with some 50,000 people working in real estate, and the sector provides the State with the single largest source of revenue through stamp duty and associated taxes.
“Regional Queensland is facing unique challenges and the Government must tailor its response to those challenges.
“A recent CoreLogic report into affordability identified that regional Queensland’s housing affordability was nearing similar levels to Melbourne. Wages are flat or are going backwards, the cost of living is higher and it’s harder to save for a deposit. Bankruptcies in regional Queensland are rising, with more than 80 reported last quarter in Mackay alone.
“First home buyers in regional Queensland need more help than their southeast Queensland counterparts – and letting them use the grant to buy an established home would be a good start. And it would help the real estate sector in regional Queensland stabilise. It would help slow or stop the fall of median values and it would help first home buyers get a foot on the ladder,” she said.
“The Government should offer first-home buyers the choice between new builds or established homes. Bring buyers to the market where there is ample supply – don’t keep adding to the supply.
“Real estate has long been this State’s golden goose, but this Government is in danger of killing off the goose.
“Twenty-five regional mayors have given us their full-throated support for broadening the grant to established homes and this State Government simply isn’t listening.”
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