Budget hurts brokers by ignoring housing

by Adam Smith10 May 2012

The Federal Budget has let down brokers by failing to address housing, according to one industry stakeholder.

Ken Raiss, director of accounting firm Chan & Naylor, has commented that the newly-released Budget holds little joy for brokers because it does nothing for a sagging housing market.

“My main concern is that the Budget won’t do anything to stimulate activity in the housing sector, and therefore there are no funds allocated either directly or indirectly to the property market. This won’t stimulate people to move homes, to buy homes or to invest into more investment properties,” he said.

He also claimed the Budget had done little to allay the sluggish consumer sentiment that has been pervasive over the last year. Should consumers continue to lack confidence, Raiss said property investment will remain weak. And with housing activity down, Raiss said many brokers would continue to struggle.

“It’s reducing activity in what would otherwise be the largest expenditure item for most people. The overall activity levels of brokers aren’t being stimulated, and therefore the business activity would have to suffer and continue to feel the effects they’ve felt over the last couple years,” Raiss said.
House prices are set to remain stagnant as well, Raiss predicted, with the sector finding no significant help in the Budget.

“I think subdued values in the property sector will continue and will be a damper to activity for brokers,” he said.
Raiss had also called upon the government to institute a price surveillance authority in order to promote transparency in the banking sector. He accused the banks of “years of ongoing gouging and profiteering”, but said the Budget had done nothing to address big bank dominance.

“There’s nothing in it that affects competition in the banking sector, and nothing that would support a fifth pillar where credit unions, second tiers and the like could form a credible alternative to the big banks,” Raiss said.

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