Working together

Our industry can be proud of the fact that it has created homes for 24 million Australians.

Last week, the Opposition released its policy on homelessness – and it was a timely reminder that 105,000 Australians don’t have a home.

It’s an area where there should be a dialogue – because a country as rich as Australia should be a fair place as well. It's why so many in the industry support the Property Industry Foundation and Homes for Homes.

Homelessness is one subset of the broader issue of housing affordability – and we know there are market-based and low-cost regulatory solutions that can ease some of the burdens in this area.

In fact, our industry is already playing a big part in financing and providing housing that is affordable.

New data from CoreLogic has revealed that Australian investors provide 970,000 properties with a market value of between $300,000 and $500,000. One in two of all investment properties are worth less than $500,000.

As well, overseas research shows that the majority of Chinese consumer inquiries for Australian property investments are for properties below $670,000.

The question for both sides of politics and for all levels of government is how do we encourage more investment in housing that is within reach of everyday Australians?

One thing is for sure, in a growing country like Australia this won't be achieved if we add taxes to the creation of new housing or use tax policy to drive investment away from property (something the Federal Opposition and our three big east coast state governments should remember).

No matter who wins on 2 July, housing affordability will remain a real challenge for Australia. We want to work with governments on the solutions, including helping to create a viable investment class for a sustainable affordable housing sector. We believe there can be market-orientated solutions that can use institutional-scale investment and thereby ease the burden on government balance sheets.

There might be differences in this election – but there are some things where we can all work together.