Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) President, Hayden Groves has outlined his 2022 vision for Australian real estate agents and agencies.
Mr Groves said that people – our businesses, customers and the communities around us - must be at the heart of our strategy as agencies and as Institutes.
REIA will be focusing on engaging consumers on the role of agents in building better communities as well as sustainable living and housing affordability.
“The reality is that people are at the centre of the success of an agency whether it is our staff or clients. Whether it is the 67% of Australians owning their own home, 15% of Australians looking to buy their first home or the 27% of Australians that rent.
“Successful agencies play a major role in wealth creation and financial success and we in turn need to do everything we can to enhance our service delivery of property transactions.
“This ranges from adopting new proptech to reduce workloads, working on recruitment and attraction campaigns to help plug the significant property manager shortage and doing everything we can to mitigate the health risks of COVID through good planning and management and ensuring all our teams receiving their booster shot as soon as possible.”
Mr Groves said engaging consumers on the role of real estate agents in building better communities would be a new initiative to be unveiled over 2022.
Mr Groves said he also expected demand for sustainable living to increase over 2022.
“Demand for sustainable homes or homes with sustainable features will increase, as will client expectations that we as real estate agencies are running sustainable businesses.
“This could be anything from preferences for complexes with electric car charge points right through to homes built with green materials or powered by renewable energy.
“Governments need to come to the table to offer homeowners and investors make their homes and investments more sustainable through proper incentives as are in place in the Canada and the US such as Greener Home Grants and tax offsets.
“REIA, through our Institutes, have a strong commitment to Sustainable Real Estate through our policy priorities outlined in Getting Real with the focus being on incentivizing sustainable adaption rather than regulating housing stock.
“With 2030 and 2050 targets committed to by the Morrison Government in COP26 this will become an area of increasing importance to Australians when it comes to homes and their property investments.”
Mr Groves said that major economic factors like home loan and rent to income ratios, interest rates, employment and the Great Resignation, inflation and immigration will all impact on what lies ahead.
“The Australian residential property market is now worth a whopping $9 trillion according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
“Our major focus from an advocacy point of view will be on the fundamentals of Australian housing supply and affordability.
“Whilst some agents are reporting an increase in stock levels being offered to the market, the reality is within the current market there is still more demand than supply, and until that demand is satiated, we will likely see continued growth in value.
“National stock was at 218,415 listings for December, down from 239,866 in October, according to SQM.
“Everything we should be doing from an advocacy and policy development perspective should be looking at encouraging Australians to list with confidence to make the most of current market conditions.”
Mr Groves said that as the COVID-19 pandemic demand continues to drive the 2022 housing cycle, it was important that election commitments support market stability.
“Federal elections as real estate practitioners know can majorly impact the confidence of property customers to both list and buy.
“With REIA successfully advocating to reverse the Oppositions stance on abolishing negative gearing and CGT, we will continue to defend and neutralise any threats to our agencies and private property markets as they occur.
“Further, housing affordability needs to be addressed.
“Affordability continued to decline over the September quarter of 2021, with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increasing to 36.2% nationally.
“The REIA Housing Affordability Report – the past 20 years, showed that housing affordability peaked around 20 years ago with the proportion of family income devoted to meeting the average loan repayment at 27.2%.
“With a lot to play out both economically and politically before a touted May 2022 election, we will continue to advocate for policy initiatives that focus on helping first home buyers achieve the Great Australian dream of home ownership,” Mr Groves said.
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