REIWA is disappointed with Labor’s announcement yesterday that they will introduce a new property tax on foreign buyers if elected to government on 11 March.
REIWA President Hayden Groves said he was surprised the Labor party had announced an additional tax on property without first consulting the industry in order to gain an understanding of the repercussions a tax like this would have on activity levels in an already soft market.
“Politicians view property taxes as an easy way to raise funds to pay for something else without proper regard for the impacts on the community. Introducing an additional four per cent residential property tax on foreign buyers is another example of politicians bleeding property for political point scoring,” Mr Groves said.
Currently, Western Australia is one of the only states that does not tax foreigners for purchasing property.
“Foreign investment in WA represents a very small proportion of the market, and this type of misguided policy will dampen the incentive for foreigners who are not permanent residents to locate and live in WA.
“In the longer term, the impact of this surcharge on foreign investment will be felt by tenants, who will bare the brunt of increased weekly rent prices due to lowered stock levels,” Mr Groves said.
In contrast, the Barnett Government have announced they will make property a priority if re-elected by committing to no new property taxes, not increasing current taxes and introducing a transfer duty concession for seniors over 65.
“It’s disappointing to see the Labor party blindly follow in the footsteps of east coast State Governments, where foreign investment is high, with no proper consideration to the impact this will have on the WA property market,” Mr Groves said.