"For too long incentive programs have been focused on the buyer side of the equation."
Passing the rate cut on in full is crucial
The Reserve Bank’s decision to cut the official cash rate by a further 25 basis points is welcome news, but the housing market remains in need of a more coordinated approach to reach a full recovery.
As ever, the willingness of the banks to take a fair and reasonable course of action and pass the rate cut on in full is crucial to the impact of the RBA’s decision.
Recent cuts to the official cash rate have not had the desired impact, and while activity has picked up with the commencement of the spring selling period, there is substantial improvement still to be realised for the sector to be deemed healthy again.
Government obviously recognises the important role the housing market plays in an economic context, evidenced by the slate of property-related taxes it relies upon.
It therefore seems reasonable that a more coordinated approach between all levels of government and the residential sector should be pursued to improve the health of the sector.
A reconsideration of stamp duty is the most obvious place to start.
Considerable evidence already exists to support the idea that government stands to gain substantially increased revenue associated with increased transactional levels should stamp duty be abolished.
To suggest this tax is too important a source of revenue is erroneous and obsolete.
Another area requiring a commitment from government is an improvement to the planning and development approval process.
For too long incentive programs have been focused on the buyer side of the equation. Perhaps a more serious focus on addressing developer concerns, such as levies and the speed of the approval process, would enable the RBA’S interest rate cuts to have a more measurable and significant impact.
Leanne Pilkington is general manager of Laing + Simmons