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REIV calls on re-elected State Government to act on stamp duty reform

Disappointed that the real estate sector still doesn’t have a dedicated ministerial portfolio, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria is calling on the re-elected State Government to focus on “good property sector policy”.

REIV Chief Executive Officer Quentin Kilian said the industry body welcomed Danny Pearson as minister responsible for real estate issues under his Consumer Affairs portfolio and as Assistant Treasurer.

“While we have been calling for the property sector to have a dedicated ministerial portfolio, we look forward to working with Minister Pearson on a list of important issues, none more important than an update to the state’s tired tax regime,” Mr Kilian said.

“Despite the sector’s rapid recent evolution and a significant shift in market conditions, Victorian property participants are still dealing with archaic stamp duty that does nothing but inhibit aspiring homeowners, deter downsizers, and cripple investors, all which compounds our current housing supply crisis.”

The REIV has seven key arguments for why stamp duty should be removed, including reducing purchasing costs, enhanced mobility of skilled worker, increasing the likelihood of older people moving to appropriate size accommodation and increased tax transparency.

Other reasons include improving affordability through lower purchase costs and greater housing liquidity, increased availability of funds to meet social and affordable housing needs, and greater stability in tax revenue modelling for governments.

“In Victoria, stamp duty equates to approximately 22 per cent of state and local government revenue so the question of removing stamp duty really centres around what to replace it with, and how to make the transition – this is where politics has the potential to interfere with good outcomes,” Mr Kilian said.

“Other states are seeing the light on this antiquated tax and REIV invites the Victorian Government into a discussion with industry leaders and experts as we seek a better approach.”

Mr Kilian added the 2021 changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and the early-2022, but not yet released, Property Market Review also need to be immediate priorities for the Victorian Government.

“On behalf of 8000 plus REIV members who employ more than 15,000 Victorians, we look forward to engaging with the returned State Government and work towards renewing policy impacting one of Victoria’s most important sectors,” he said.

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