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Have the doors been closed to first home buyers in Queensland this election?


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Apr
by Brad Robson
Housing policy for the Queensland State election Housing policy for the Queensland State election

Don’t you love elections, a time when politicians get to jostle for air time, promising us the world, trying to become the messiah of all issues great and small.

Housing affordability

I know it’s easy to jump on the “bash the pollies” band wagon and it’s kind of hypercritical coming from a real estate agent but it seems to me that this election, there’s just silence from both major parties around housing policy.

Each election cycle, we’re generally bombarded with the same stuff, “Cost of living is up under the current mob, vote for us and we’ll bring it down” or “Law and order is out of control, vote for us and we’ll sort out the bad guys” or “The hospitals are a joke, vote for us and we’ll get more doctors”. However, one of the big issues in the last few elections that has filled the airwaves is the apparent “housing affordably crises”. Usually there’s all kinds of promises on offer to first home buyers but this seems to be an issue that both major parties have gone silent on at this election.

Each state has their own version of the First Home Buyers Grant and here in Queensland, first home buyers get a bunch of gifts such as no stamp duty or a $20,000 grant if they buy brand new. However, this is all due to expire on the 31st December.
This is where the confusion sneaks in. Only 12 months ago, at the last Federal Election, housing policy was a key platform for both major parties. Both sides used it as a bashing tool, back and forth they went over who was best and worse positioned to improve housing affordability. By the end of the campaign housing policy and the apparent issue of affordability had become a proverbial beating stick.

Labor, wanting a raft of changes to negative gearing and removal of tax concessions. The LNP, maintaining that the existing arrangements encouraged investment and would increase housing stock that would ultimately underpin an increase in supply and therefore a decrease in prices.

Fast forward to this state election and we are hearing crickets when it comes to Housing policy. Both major parties have apparently forgotten about the issue of “affordability” and the industry more broadly. There has been no discussion, debate or policy announcements on housing or real estate – and we’ve been left with a bits and pieces ‘plan’ on social housing. Of course, social housing is not the be all and end all of housing policy and should only account for a small, sub section of our population.

It is remarkable that in 12 months, our politicians and the parties that can form government go from fighting over and contrasting their Housing policies, to an important State election campaign where the issue is non-existent. I would have expected by now we would have heard policy announcements around the first home buyers grant, something to give new buyers and developers a level of confidence to be able to plan more than a few months in advance. More information around stamp-duty policies would be another policy that I would have expected to hear something on by now but it’s just silence coming from both camps.

Anyway, I’ve had my time on the soapbox, that’s just my view, how I see it is that either our politicians are magicians that resolved a “housing crisis”, or we’ve simply been left in the dark in 2017. I’ll leave you to decide.

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