REIQ Call on Government to Assist Housing Industry

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is seeking urgent action from the Queensland State Government to assist in maintaining the stability of the Queensland Property Market – worth in excess of over $1 trillion, and directly employing over 50,000 workers, with many more employed in associated industries.  Activity in the real estate sector contributes in excess of $30 billion annually to the Queensland Government.

The REIQ has proactively developed a set of recommendations and proposed initiatives that will assist in minimising the potential economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the real estate sector. In order to maintain stability and optimism in the Queensland property market during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the REIQ is urgently asking the Queensland State Government to:

  1. Extend the First Home Buyers Grant to established housing.
  2. Implement a 50% reduction in development application costs across all Local Governments and introduce streamlined application processes.
  3. Deliver a 75% reduction in stamp duty for the period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In the 18 months following the end of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the REIQ are urgently seeking the following further stamp duty related reforms to continue to support and stimulate the property market, including:

  1. Removal of stamp duty for persons aged 65+ year.
  2. A 50% reduction in stamp duty where residential investment property purchases are committed to the permanent rental market in Queensland for 3 years or more.
  3. A 40% reduction in stamp duty for all other residential property purchases.

To support property owners generally impacted by potential reductions in rental income, and households financially impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the REIQ is also urgently requesting the Queensland State Government to facilitate the following:

  1. Provide a significant reduction or temporary removal of land tax for the period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  2. Waive local government rates for those who have lost their income as a result of this crisis.
  3. Implement a 50% discount on local government rates to assist household budgets and assist in stimulating the Queensland economy.

The REIQ Chief Executive Officer, Antonia Mercorella says, “The REIQ believes that it isn’t enough to put money in people’s pockets during this time; instead, we need maintain confidence in the Queensland property market and assist the real estate sector to ride out this crisis and emerge stronger and more resilient for the benefit of all Queenslanders.”

“The REIQ fundamentally believe these relief package measures will keep Queenslanders employed within the State’s second largest employment sector, keep essential services functioning at this critical time, and most importantly accelerate our State economy’s recovery once this crisis has passed.”