With property last year being named as Australia’s largest industry, it is certain that any government policy that damages the real estate industry will impact everyone in Australia, says Harcourts Australia’s CEO, Marcus Williams.
Mr Williams made the comment while announcing Harcourts involvement in the “Negative Gearing Affects Everyone” media campaign.
Currently Australia’s fourth largest real estate group, Harcourts has joined forces with every major real estate organisation in the country, together with all State real estate institutes and the Real Estate Institute of Australia, for the ground-breaking campaign.
Mr Williams said that throughout the campaign, it is Harcourts Australia’s intention to remain apolitical, but focus on ensuring people are informed correctly about the profound financial and social impact the proposed changes will have on virtually all Australians.
“Harcourts works with hundreds of thousands of everyday Australians each year, and our business is about what matters most to them – their home.
“When we consider the proposed changes to negative gearing, yes we are concerned about our own business and industry, but we also believe that these changes will have a devastating effect on our customers, whether they be tenants, landlords, buyers or sellers,” he said.
“For this reason, we are taking the unprecedented step of standing together with all our major competitors and our national and state real estate institutions, to inform the public of the consequences of such a policy.
“We believe that if negative gearing is abolished, the ripple effect will be enormous and profound, regardless of the ‘grandfather’ arrangements and other assurances being proposed.”
Mr Williams said that if negative gearing is abolished, investors will leave the market or will be forced to increase rents because they can no longer offset their costs. Therefore, the proposed changes will certainly affect those most vulnerable, tenants who rent property as their home.
In addition, research has revealed that up to 79% of investors will sell their investment properties if the changes are made, leaving a massive rental property shortage, which will inevitably push rent skywards and place even more pressure on already extended government services.
“Mining and manufacturing were once our biggest industry sectors, and both have been hit hard by government policies and other factors outside of our control,” said Mr Williams.
“Now that real estate is Australia’s powerhouse, it is not the time to tinker with an industry that employs one in four Australians. Nor is it a time to change the rules which allow private investors to supply rental properties to the marketplace.”
The website for the Negative Gearing Affects Everyone Campaign is www.negativegearingaffectseveryone.com