THE abolition of inefficient property taxes such as stamp duty tops the wish list of the REIQ in the lead-up to the Queensland Election.
As the peak real estate industry body, we also support incentives to generate more transactions and turnover, which will pave the way for further growth in the sector.
The real estate industry is vital to the state's prosperity and that's why we are challenging the state's political leaders to introduce the following reforms in Queensland:
- Abolition of stamp duty on property transactions;
- Reinstatement of first-home owner grants for existing housing; and
- Allowing first-homebuyers to access their superannuation to purchase a property.
Rental, hiring and real estate services contribute more than $8 billion a year towards Queensland's gross state product, supporting almost 50,000 jobs.
That's why real estate reform needs to be at the centre of political debate throughout this year - and we will continue to lobby Queensland's lawmakers in pursuit of our reformist agenda.
Stamp duty is a regressive tax - it imposes additional costs on property transactions, thereby discouraging turnover of housing and distorting choices between renting and buying.
It also distorts choices between moving house and renovating and can deter labour mobility for those changing jobs, resulting in reduced investment in the property market.
The REIQ also wants to see the first-home owner grant for existing housing reinstated, so that incentives exist for new and established housing.
First-home owner grants are an important form of financial assistance and there's no sound basis for the preferential treatment that exists for buyers who purchase newly built properties.
We want to encourage younger Queenslanders to realise their dreams of home ownership by allowing them to access their super for this purpose.
Allowing them to access super, provided it's paid back within a specified time, is a step in the right direction.
Antonia Mercorella is chief executive of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland