By Kristen O’Loughlin
Stockdale & Leggo
EVR Property Group
EVR Business Brokers
Koo Wee Rup, Hastings
and Phillip Island

IT’S coming to that time of year again; when the campaign signs outnumber the for sale ones, and the local pizza store sign shaker gives up his spot on the side of the road for waving volunteers holding candidate pictures.

It’s a federal election year and that means, over the coming months, we’re going to hear a lot of promises made, a lot of mudslinging between parties, and a lot of contemplating from the public as to which party might make it better or at the very least not make it any worse.

Everyone has their different needs and, let’s face it, no option is going to make everyone happy. But working in real estate, obviously my biggest question is how will a change in government or a stay of existing government affect the market?

We know Labor’s proposal to scrap negative gearing and change capital gains tax laws are no longer in the mix after being a point of contention in their 2019 election loss, putting both parties on equal footing with their offerings to investors.

So, the key element of this election campaigning will come down to housing affordability. After all, this is the number one issue for most Australians. While the Coalition has not proposed any changes and looks set to deliver more of the current market, Labor has provided proposals for affordable housing. But with an ALP win, there also would be nothing to stop previous proposals targeting investors at a later time.

The issue is neither party are addressing the major challenges faced by the Australian housing market which stem from an undersupply of affordable free-standing family housing and high paying job opportunities outside of the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs. This is further affected by the inability of federal, state, and local governments to work together on these issues, which is the only way a sustainable solution could be achieved.

We have already seen our current government defer to APRA to tighten lending standards, making getting into the market more difficult. However, there is no doubt their focus on the Homebuilder Package and First Home Loan Deposit Scheme successfully saw the building industry through the worst of the pandemic.

PM Scott Morrison has announced the federal budget will be released on March 29 and no doubt the run-up to the election will be a focus on this and the

ALP’s response. While the election itself will not affect the market, the outcome of it certainly will.

Only time and voters will tell exactly what the outcome will be. But over the next two months, savvy investors and homeowners should be paying close attention to the budget and the campaign promises once the official election is announced. I know I definitely will.