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REIWA welcomes WA Government's easing open home restrictions and rent assistance

REIWA President Damian Collins said with sales transactions sitting at a record low of less than 300 per week in Perth in recent weeks, the increase of people able to attend open houses is positive news for the property market. 

“There are many people who are still required to buy, sell or rent a property during the COVID-19 pandemic and this decision will help remove some of the limitations to viewing a property and will be a positive step in helping to increase transactions,” Mr Collins said. 

In addition, current social distancing and hygiene rules will still apply with real estate agents required to also maintain a register of people who attend each home open.  

At a Glance:

  • People are now able to attend an open home to a maximum of 10 (including the agent)

  • Sales transactions in WA have reached a record low of 300 per week

  • Current social distancing and hygiene rules still apply

“While Western Australia seems to be past the worst of the outbreak, we still take the current restrictions seriously and will be working closely with our members and the government to ensure that we do our part in helping to reduce the spread,” said Mr Collins. 

“The cautious relaxation in restrictions coupled with the announcement to provide rental assistance for those in financial stress, is most welcomed by REIWA and we hope this is the beginning of things starting to look up – not just for real estate but for the wider WA economy.” 

REIWA looks forward to working with the State Government on other initiatives over the coming months in relation to COVID-19 support, including the Commercial Code of Conduct. 

“Overall REIWA is grateful that the government has listened to our request for rental assistance as without safeguards in place to also protect property owners, both tenants and owners may have struggled to recover,” Mr Collins said.  

“The residential rent assistance payments of four weeks rent up to $2,000, which will be paid directly to the property owner, will provide some relief to owners who are facing financial pressure due to the tenant’s inability to pay rent at this time. 

At a Glance:

  • Residential rent assistance payments of four weeks will be paid up to $2,000

  • The payment will go to the property owner

  • REIWA will ask for stamp duty to be reduced by 75 per cent during the pandemic.

“While not all tenants and property owners will benefit, at least this relief will go some way to reducing the financial burden in the property market.” 

Mr Collins told WILLIAMS MEDIA while there are still a number of property owners who will miss out on the support from the Government, he would still like to see further changes.

"We would like to have seen anyone who has had a reduction of 25 per cent or more in their income eligible for Government support," said Mr Collins.

"We are asking for stamp duty to be reduced by 75 per cent for a short time during the pandemic, to help keep the market fluid.

"Where people are hurting and may have to sell their property, there may not be the buyers.

"If the stamp duty was reduced, it may bring more buyers to the market."

Source: https://www.therealestateconversation.com.au/news/2020/04/27/reiwa-welcomes-wa-governments-easing-open-home-restrictions-and-rent-assistance