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Mortgagors to ‘bear the burden’ from federal budget: REIQ

by Adrian Suljanovic8 minute read

The institute’s COO has expressed concerns over the short-term incentives in the federal budget.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s (REIQ) COO Dean Milton has said that near-term incentives within the federal budget will keep interest rates “up for longer”, thus passing the “burden to mortgage holders and small businesses”.

Milton said that while the announced energy rebates may apply short-term downward pressure on inflation, the medium- to long-term impact threatens to be inflationary.

“Instead of the energy bill rebate cash splash to all Australians, our view is that the Federal Government could have shown more restraint and means-tested eligibility to ensure it goes to those that need it most,” Milton said.

“We would have liked to have seen a budget which took the pressure off inflation to provide some relief for mortgage holders and small businesses – who could now be carrying the heavy load of high interest rates for longer.”

While the budget provided crucial short-term support for renters, Milton said the building blocks for future housing supply were still “a long way from getting homes off the ground” and from hitting the government’s goal of 1.2 million new homes by 2029.

He said although the budget contains much-needed cost-of-living assistance and rental subsidies for the more vulnerable members of society, the supply-side initiatives to deliver long-term infrastructure to support new residential development are “still a marathon away from equating to homes”.

“If you were an Australian looking for some glimmers of hope to be able to buy your first home, there are none to be found in this budget,” Milton said.

“With a surplus, this could have been a real opportunity for the Federal Government to start the conversation to reform the tax base for the States away from stamp duty and land tax, which in turn would improve the chances of people being able to buy a home.

“It would have been good to see first home buyer initiatives relating to assisting with the deposit gap and expanding the shared equity scheme beyond the current 10,000 places a year nationally.”

The federal budget was welcomed by the managing director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), Peter White; however, he noted that the “devil is in the detail” and that the plans laid out in the budget must be properly implemented.

The chief executive of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), Anja Pannek, also welcomed the housing measures: “Housing supply remain[s] a key issue for Australia and it’s pleasing to see the government continue to remain focused on this in the Budget, addressing construction hurdles, investment in social and affordable housing and schemes designed to help Australians buy their own home.

[RELATED: Associations welcome budget 2024/25]

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