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BUDGET – WINDOW NOW OPEN FOR WA GOVERNMENT

May 10th, 2017 by Geoff Baldwin

BUDGET – WINDOW NOW OPEN FOR WA GOVERNMENT – Last night’s federal budget included positive incentives for the property sector however more is needed to inject life back into the WA market and the window is now wide open for the state government to act. Mark McGowan and Treasurer Ben Wyatt must take full advantage of these new initiatives by urgently introducing some meaningful local incentives according to RE/MAX Real Estate MD, Geoff Baldwin.

Salary sacrificing for FHB’s – The Budget decision to allow salary sacrificing for first home buyers is a positive step towards improving the affordability challenge however it will not fix the dire environment here in the West. The new WA state government now needs to urgently add its own incentives to revitalise our local market and to assist first homebuyers. The decision by the previous Liberal state government to restrict the FHOG only to new builds was a killer blow to the established market in this state and it is critical that this is reversed as a priority.

Dispensations for downsizers – Allowing retirees to sell their large family homes to move to smaller homes and to then deposit the difference into their super funds without incurring extra tax will go some way to assisting our lower markets in WA at a time when incentives are desperately needed.  Since the previous Liberal government made the decision to deny first home buyers the FHOG on established properties that key segment of the market has slowed to almost a halt resulting in a chain effect right up through all price ranges.

Penalties for “ghost houses” – Rather than targeting genuine investors by making changes to negative gearing, the decision to impose tax restrictions or penalties on owners who intentionally leave their properties vacant is a positive and sensible action. A significant number of property owners are claiming tax concessions on their properties but make little effort to rent them out. This is also prevalent with many holiday home owners and it is a practice that should be strongly discouraged anytime but especially when the commonwealth purse strings need to be tightened.

Streamlining development approvals – Any decisions that streamline development approvals, particularly for new subdivisions should be welcomed and it is incumbent upon local and state governments to work with the commonwealth to further hasten the release of more land and in so doing assist affordability for homebuyers.