What Does Australia’s New Prime Minister Mean for Perth Property?

What Does Australia’s New Prime Minister Mean for Perth Property?

Many Australians feel with unemployment on the rise, stagnant wages and standards of living receding, that we are in a recession. In WA with the end of the mining boom, construction has been considered as the necessary activity to keep our economy strong. But with decreasing construction, property and rental statistics, we are yet to see a boost in economic activity.
Various property groups are welcoming our recent change in prime minister and hoping government will step in and fix some of the issues within the property industry that are having a detrimental effect on Aussies.
So what does the introduction of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister mean for Perth property?

Housing Affordability
Housing affordability has been a pressing issue since the downturn of the property market and has somewhat been ignored by the government in recent times. Tony Abbott and the Liberal party have thus far insisted “there is nothing wrong with house prices” whilst thousands of Aussies have struggled to break into the housing market. Joe Hockey, the treasurer, said Aussies should get a higher paying job if they want to enter the market (if only it were that simple!) However Scott Morrison has since taken the job of treasurer and expressed in July that a lack of housing affordability and stock centralised most of Australia’s social problems.


Although no changes have actually been implemented by our new Prime Minister and his cabinet, big things are expected from property professionals. Turnbull is great at giving Australians a positive outlook; something Abbott was not good at. The government need to step in and create long-standing solutions to poor planning systems that have hindered property development. By opposing Joe Hockey’s idea to allow first home buyers to access their superannuation to invest in property Malcolm Turnbull has proven that he isn’t going to implement “band-aid solutions” and is dedicated to recognise and fix systemic issues surrounding property. Over the coming months our new leader is expected to announce some big, positive changes to our industry and we welcome them with open arms.

Negative Gearing
As a multi-millionaire and the second richest politician in Australia, Malcolm Turnbull is a prolific investor of property. His harbourside mansion of a home was way too good to give up for Kirribilli House (Prime Ministerial accommodation).
The abolishment or scaling back of negative gearing has instilled doubt in many property investors, lessening the enticements of investing in property to reduce tax.
Joe Hockey ruled out any change on tax policy relating to negative gearing but now Turnbull is in power the issue is potentially back on the table.
Some countries only allow losses generated from negative gearing to be carried forward until they offset income from investment properties rather than being to offset against wages or business income as we can in Australia. Chinese people are avid investors in the Australian property market, probably because their Government have much stricter taxation laws on property investment.

Negative gearing is a complex and highly political issue. The Reserve Bank of Australia have already stated that the policy relating to negative gearing should not unduly advantage investors at the expense of prospective owner-occupiers. As an experienced property investor it could be assumed that Malcolm Turnbull should be able to assist in making an informed decision on this issue that should benefit Australians.

Urban Planning and Sustainability
South Australian MP Jamie Briggs has been appointed as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment – a decision that has been met with positivity. Joondalup’s own mayor Troy Pickard, also the President of the Australian Local Government Association has expressed his delight in the appointment of both Malcolm Turnbull and Jamie Briggs.

Local government can better understand the housing problems we face at the ground level, including liveability, sustainability and productivity. A closer relationship between all three levels of government should mean stronger coordination to rectify issues relating to infrastructure, transport, natural & built environments and housing. It should mean that issues in different regions can be focussed on rather than taking a national approach to fixing issues that may be occurring to a higher extent in certain regions. Allowing local government to step up and play its role in solving economic problems will assist Malcolm Turnbull in achieving his vision for Australia.

In conclusion the change in our leader appears to be a positive one from a property professional’s point of view but as with all politics, the proof will be in the pudding and we hope to see some constructive changes to our industry soon.

Written by: Charlotte Flatt of Cap-It-All Building Inspections Perth

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