22 Aug 2023

National Cabinet recognises housing supply is answer to rental crisis

National Cabinet’s new national target of building 1.2 million well-located homes in the five years from 2024 is recognition that housing supply is the answer to the rental crisis not punitive reforms, according to the Real Estate Buyers Agents Association of Australia (REBAA).

REBAA President Cate Bakos said it was pleasing to see national cabinet’s focus on more secure and affordable housing after its meeting in Brisbane on Wednesday as well as its commitment to national planning reform.

“REBAA welcomes the commitment to the significant increase of housing supply and looks forward to seeing more detail on the harmonisation of rental policies around the nation,” Ms Bakos said.

“Renters are being forced out of areas, rental prices are soaring, and homelessness is a harsh reality for so many.

“However, the rhetoric that has bounced around our nation for decades has been misguided at best. Sadly, policymakers have listened to cries of ‘greedy landlord’ without actually understanding the root cause of the issue when rents start rising.”

Ms Bakos said the impact of fewer rental properties has resulted in a significant imbalance between tenant demand and rental supply.

“And with any changing ratio, the resultant impact is upwards pressure on rental prices,” she said.

Ms Bakos said renters are experiencing the lack of supply from the moment they try to apply for a roof over their heads with long queues of prospective renters at open-for-inspections.

She said most are also making multiple application attempts to secure a rental – together with offering higher rents than the price that properties were advertised.

“Many tenants are applying with a higher rental figure in a desperate attempt to beat the competition because the supply and demand situation is so out of whack,” she said.

“A sharp increase in supply is the only answer – and was reiterated by the announcement after the National Cabinet Meeting yesterday – and we must all recognise that the provision of housing is shared by governments, not-for-profits, trusts and private investors.

“In fact, private investors make up the vast majority of rental providers – at some 83 per cent – across our nation.”

Ms Bakos said little would have been achieved to support the plight of renters if governments had continued to disincentivise private residential property investment and demonise landlords.

“That’s why the range of priorities announced after the National Cabinet will be well received by the wider industry,” Ms Bakos said.

“It shows that all levels of government are committed to increasing the supply of housing, rather than promoting punitive rental reforms that would see more investors exit the market and put further upward pressure on rents.”

Professional buyer’s agents are licensed real estate professionals that specialise in searching, negotiating, conducting due diligence, and purchasing property on behalf of buyers and hold professional indemnity insurance.

“By choosing a REBAA member, buyers can be confident they are dealing with an experienced and professional buyer’s agent,” Ms Bakos said.