The nationwide rental shortage crisis may appear to be a Covid phenomenon, but it’s something many in the property investment arena saw building for a long time.
Years of constant changes to real estate investment regulations and taxes have pushed many investors out of the market, with the current shortage of properties for tenants the result.
The past five years have been arduous for residential property investors, as all levels of government fail to deliver sufficient social housing, forcing tenants to rely on rental properties owned by private investors to provide somewhere to live.
Despite that reliance on the private investment market (which provides over 90% of all properties occupied by tenants), governments of all levels have continued to interfere in the market and use property as a cash cow, hitting it time and again with levies, fees and charges, as well as legislative changes that have disadvantaged and discouraged investors.
The process is continuing with new legislation in several states, including Queensland and Western Australia as well as the ACT, which add to the disincentives to investor owners.
Not only do the state laws increasingly disadvantage landlords, but investor owners pay higher rates of interest, stamp duty and council rates than owner-occupiers.
But the biggest losers in all this are people who need to rent or choose to (the Census data shows that a third of Australian households rent).
They’re the big losers because the shortage that has been caused by politicians is pushing up rents.