27/08/2008 - 22:00

New federal accommodation plan

27/08/2008 - 22:00

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The federal government has introduced an incentive scheme to encourage property developers to build affordable rental accommodation.

New federal accommodation plan

The federal government has introduced an incentive scheme to encourage property developers to build affordable rental accommodation.

Under the program, developers and not-for-profit housing providers will receive a tax offset or payment of $8,000 per house or unit, provided it is rented out at 20 per cent below market rate to eligible low- and middle-income earners.

In total, it's expected about 50,000 dwellings will be built by 2012, with another 50,000 to be built in the following years.

The program is aimed at easing the shortage of rental accommodation nationally, which is expected to remain at current levels for at least six months, according to a survey released last week by Rent.com.au.

The survey found demand for WA rental properties was among the highest nationally, with 37 per cent of property managers stating there was a shortfall of more than 10 per cent of total stock.

WA had the highest proportion of managers reporting rent increases during the past six months (89 per cent of respondents), with one fifth of those surveyed raising rents by more than 21 per cent.

Most respondents said rents were likely to increase by up to 10 per cent over the next six months (57 per cent), while 23 per cent indicated rents were likely to remain flat.

About half of those surveyed in WA took less than seven days to lease a vacant property, while 45 per cent took more than one week - slightly higher than the national average.

WA also had a higher proportion of 12-month leases than the national average (64 per cent compared to 54 per cent), with just one quarter of properties leased on a six-month term.

The figures also showed that WA real estate agents received a much higher level of online inquiries than their counterparts in other states.

Rent.com.au surveyed 663 property managers nationally.

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