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REIA pushes for governments to address housing supply

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The Real Estate Institute of Australia is pushing the federal and state governments to improve planning approval times in order to address diminishing housing supply.

REIA President Adrian Kelly said there should be a long-term, collaborative industry-government plan for housing.

“Transactions are down, with Victoria reducing by 21% over the past five years, while WA saw listings fall by 45% over the past year, indicating a chronic shortage of housing,” Kelly said.

Kelly said the state and federal governments needed to institute reforms including reducing the cost of the development application process, re-zoning reform, improving approval times for development applications, introducing land release programs, and the establishment of a government-led mechanism for reliable data on housing demand and supply.

“In the rising market of 2021, this issue continues to be excessively politicised and has become a conversation of public versus private, state versus federal, young versus old, wealthy versus poor, and civil society versus business groups,” Kelly said.

Since 2013, REIA has promoted the idea that more supply is a key way to improve housing affordability. At a strategic policy forum held by the organisation last month, participants agreed that supply was best addressed through a “coordinated and well-funded national housing plan,” REIA said.

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REIA estimated that pre-COVID-19, the inventory shortfall sat at 150,000. The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation projects that project completions will drop 12% by 2022 – but demand will fully rebound by 2023, bringing the supply crunch back with a vengeance. Meanwhile, it is estimated that net international migration will rise to 235,000 by 2024-25.

“There is no current government planning process to manage this,” REIA said. “Both pre- and post-pandemic, without improved supply planning, it is clear we can expect to see prices jump as supply does not keep pace.”

Ryan SmithRyan Smith is currently an executive editor at Key Media, where he started as a journalist in 2013. He has since he worked his way up to managing editor and is now an executive editor. He edits content for several B2B publications across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He also writes feature content for trade publications for the insurance and mortgage industries.
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