Budget gets green light from cutting-edge bodies

The 2022 federal budget appears to have hit the right note with the construction and investment industry raving about the homeownership incentives identified in the budget documents.

Property Investment Professionals Australia (PIPA) has applauded the continuation and expansion of the Home Guarantee Scheme which they believe will help thousands of people become homeowners and improve their financial future.

PIPA President Nicola McDougall said saving a real estate deposit has always been difficult, but even more so now with record house prices and the skyrocketing cost of living.

PIPA chair Nicola McDougall

“The doubling of the various federal government housing guarantee programs will help some 50,000 people a year, many of whom may have struggled to access homeownership without it,” Ms McDougall said.

“The role homeownership plays in household wealth creation as well as housing security is undeniable, but record house prices are preventing many people from achieving this goal.

“It is particularly gratifying to see the Family Home Guarantee for single parents extended to 5,000 places each year until 2025 because it is the buyers who need the most help.

With rental markets severely undersupplied across the country, helping single parents make the usually difficult transition from renter to owner will make a significant difference in their lives as well as those of their children.

Research has previously found that by 2056 the homeownership rate for the over 65s in Australia will have fallen from around 76% today to around 57%.

Ms McDougall said these declining homeownership rates could see more people spend their final years living in poverty, especially women and men who may never have had the chance to buy their own home because of their single parent status.

“Programs like these will help thousands of potential homeowners, fundamentally improving their financial situation throughout their lives as well as in retirement.”

Help will be welcome in the regions, especially with the latest ABS regional migration figures showing that Australia’s regional population has grown more than capital cities for the first time in more than four decades.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has also hailed the initiatives saying that these homeownership support measures contained in the budget will help thousands of Australians realize their dream of home ownership.

HIA chief executive Graham Wolfe said research shows that 85% of renter households aspire to own their own home, but only 45% believe they will achieve it.

IHA Chief Executive, Graham Wolfe

“All levels of government have a role to play in restoring homeownership and the measures announced yesterday demonstrate that the federal government is committed to playing a bigger role,” Wolfe said.

“While many people can pay off a mortgage, the deposit gap continues to be the biggest barrier to homeownership.

“The First Home Super Saver program also provides a lower tax environment for home deposit savings.

“Increasing the withdrawal limit to $50,000 will allow first-time homebuyers to keep more of their savings and pay less tax to help them save a deposit sooner.”

Safe housing has been recognized as a basic need for everyone, as state governments reduce their direct supply of public housing, it is crucial that the non-profit community housing sector is supported to fill the void.

Extending the affordable housing aggregator’s liability cap by an additional $2 billion will allow the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) to continue building this essential housing.

Access to finance through the NHFIC will enable the community housing sector to make more affordable housing available to those who have difficulty accessing the private rental market now and in the future.

Mr. Wolfe said the critical shortage of skilled workers we are experiencing today is the result of a sustained decline in the number of apprentices over a long period.

“The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements (BAC) program has reversed this trend, with apprentice and trainee starts in the year to September 2021 increasing by 88% over the previous year.

“Australia’s new learning incentive system will take over from the BAC on July 1.”

Julio V. Miller