Property leaders welcome ‘game-changing’ kickstart for construction industry

High-profile WA property industry leaders have welcomed government stimulus packages that could total more than $1 billion and inject much-needed life into the State’s construction sector.

COVID-19, Property

Fran Lawrence 9 Jun 2020
2 mins
Photo to go with story about construction stimulus.

High-profile WA property industry leaders have welcomed government stimulus packages that could total more than $1 billion and inject much-needed life into the State’s construction sector.

The Federal Government got the ball rolling on June 4 with the announcement of $25,000 grants for eligible Australians looking to build or renovate their homes. The grants, which could total more than $660 million, will be means-tested, while there are also limits on the value of the property the funding can go towards.

Meanwhile, the WA Government on June 7 announced a $444 million funding package which includes $117 million towards  “Building Bonuses” of $20,000 for West Australians constructing new houses (both owner-occupiers and investors) or buying new property in a single tier development that has yet to be completed.

A further $8.2 million has been allocated by the WA Government for an expansion until the end of the year of the 75 per cent off-the-plan transfer duty rebate to include purchases in multi-tiered investments already under construction. The rebate is capped at $25,000, and this measure has been applauded by apartment developers which have been lobbying for the measure to continue – believing it helps level the playing field in terms of new builds, and makes off-the-plan apartment purchases a more viable option for many.

Property Council WA Executive Director Sandra Brewer said both the stimulus measures could help turn around the building sector that has seen record lows in housing starts on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The addition of the McGowan Government’s Building Bonus on top of the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder scheme is an absolute game-changer for Perth’s languishing residential property market,” Ms Brewer said.

“Both levels of government have responded swiftly to the economic destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This critically-needed stimulus package will ensure industry activity is maintained, in turn saving thousands of local jobs.

“There is an incentive for nearly everyone in the State government’s package. With no strict income criteria, no price caps or limitation to owner-occupiers or first home buyers, WA families have the opportunity to right-size and avoid the full hit of the ‘mobility tax’ that is stamp duty.”

Ms Brewer was supported by Urban Development Institute of WA Chief Executive Tanya Steinbeck, who said the McGowan Government’s intervention had been both timely and targeted.

“They have demonstrated a detailed understanding of the mechanics of the market, and the grave situation the housing construction industry was facing in the coming months without government support,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“The next 12 months absolutely require government support to maintain and create jobs.

“The McGowan Government has been incredibly smart with the timing of this stimulus package, anticipating the pipeline drying up in a couple of months and proactively preventing what would otherwise have been potentially dire circumstances for the industry.”

The remainder of the WA Government’s $444 million package is made up of a $319 million social housing program which will refurbish 1500 homes, build and purchase 250 new dwellings and deliver regional maintenance to 3800 homes.

The program will roll out straight away and continue into 2021.

The McGowan Government has predicted its housing stimulus package will support more than 4000 jobs across the State.

Fran Lawrence leads Cannings Purple’s Corporate Affairs team and has more than 20 years’ experience in media and communications. She is an expert in communication in the property sector. Contact Fran.

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Fran Lawrence More from author

With more than 20 years’ experience in media and communications, Fran is our property specialist and a skilled writer and a highly effective communicator with a proven ability to add value for clients across a range of sectors, including construction, finance, professional services and education.

Fran excels at identifying and leveraging opportunities to build media profile for her clients – ensuring they’re able to tell their stories, and get their messages through to the right audiences.

A WA native, Fran began her career as a newspaper journalist and remains a news addict who is unable to start her day without consuming several newspapers and at least one large coffee.

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