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The Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA) has urged the government to take a sensible approach to housing affordability policy in light of the looming 2017 federal budget, saying it was now a critical time for implementing new housing measures.

According to the PIPA, the government would need to adopt sensible measures that would reflect the national market needs, rather than making any ‘radical changes’ such as axing negative gearing and SMSF property investment.

In April PIPA welcomed the federal government’s decision to rule out changes to negative gearing, hoping this would be one of the measures designed to help address affordability issues both on the buying and renting sides.

PIPA has also been campaigning for greater education around property investment as well as regulation of property investment advice.

PIPA’s chair, Ben Kingsley, said that although the price of quality property in the inner suburbs of major capital cities would never be reduced due to continued strong demand, there was a number of strategic policies that could help encourage more supply in urban locations.

“Potential policies that could stimulate supply include measures that encourage developers to build more family-friendly accommodation, such as three or four bedroom units,” he said.

“Incentives to encourage the release of bulk land lots in new greenfield areas could also boost supply.”

At the same time, Kingsley stressed the role property played in building everyday Australians’ wealth.

“While high property prices can be incredibly frustrating for those trying to enter the market, we need to remember that property is a key feature of many everyday Australians’ wealth creation strategies,” he said.

“Property is an accessible, trusted source of wealth that can help just about anyone build a better future. We need to be very careful when it comes to playing around with measures that could hurt the value of these assets,” he said.

Oksana Patron, Money Management, 2 May 2017