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Build-to-Rent – no tax cut, just a better option for renters

The Property Council of Australia supports build-to-rent housing as a way of providing Australians with more and better housing choices.

In response to today’s report in the Daily Telegraph, Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the industry was not asking for special favours – just consistent treatment for build-to-rent housing compared to other asset classes.

“We’re not asking for a tax cut from the Federal Government, just the opportunity to provide better quality accommodation and more security for people who rent,” Mr Morrison said.

“We’ll leave the political point scoring to the politicians. What’s most important is providing more choice for Australians who need or prefer to rent,” Mr Morrison said.

“Housing affordability pressures mean that the numbers of people who are renting is rising. Close to one-third of Australians are renting their homes, according to the last Census.

In NSW, almost six out of ten people who rent moved in the last two years, compared to just 15 per cent of home owners.

“That’s a huge cost for those households, many of whom are also trying to save for a home deposit. It can also be disruptive for kids in those households who may have to change schools when they move,” Mr Morrison said.

“‘Build-to-rent’ is an internationally tried and tested way of offering more housing choice and certainty for people who rent. It is well-established in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

“Build-to-rent housing offer tenants greater certainty over lease tenure and renewal as their buildings are designed for renters. They can also provide professional building management and maintenance services.

“Institutional operators of build-to-rent properties make a long-term investment and encourage long term tenancy, which means renters can make the property more of a home without the uncertainty that sometimes comes from renting through a private landlord.

“Like any form of institutional property class, build-to-rent housing would rely on both Australian and overseas investors including superannuation, pension and sovereign funds.

“The Property Council is simply asking that the Managed Investment Trust rules and tax rates apply to build-to-rent housing as currently apply to shopping centres and office buildings.

“Given our fast-growing population and housing affordability challenges, we should be doing everything we can to support investment in more housing choices for Australians,” Mr Morrison said.

Media contact:  Matt Francis | M 0467 777 220 |  E mfrancis@propertycouncil.com.au