Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Questions without Notice
I thank the honourable member for his question. I have visited his electorate with him on many occasions and I know how concerned the members of his electorate are about property values and the maintenance of the value in their home. And they have very good reason to be. In Western Australia—in Perth—we have over the last year seen a decline in property values. The average house prices in Perth declined in 2015 by 6.7 per cent, and that obviously crimps the assets of his constituents. It is their biggest asset. It means, naturally—
Mr Champion interjecting—
that they are less likely to be able to take a holiday or to invest. When they think about starting a business and getting a loan secured on their house to start that business, they are worried. What happens if that house decline continues? What happens if that equity value, the difference between the value of the home and the loan, continues to shrink? This is a cause of legitimate concern for every single constituent in the honourable member's electorate.
Now, in 2016, the National Australia Bank estimates that property prices in Perth will decline again, by 1.2 per cent this year. They will not creep up just above inflation or just below inflation; they will go down again so—
Mr Bowen interjecting—
residents in Perth will see their net worth decline again. And, right at that moment, when property prices in Perth are set to decline, what does the Labor Party want to do? It wants to give the property market a kick in the guts; it wants to send those prices lower; it wants to take more than one-third of the buyers out of the market, with the inevitable consequence that those prices will come down. Some of the honourable members opposite profess disbelief that prices are set by supply and demand. Let me tell you: they are. If you pull the buyers out of the market, I tell you, prices come down. You do not need to be a professor of economics to know that.
But, worse still, there are individuals, members in the Labor Party—we have heard the deputy leader—who actually want prices to come down. She wants prices in Perth to come down. That may be why the three Perth based members of this House are not running again on the Labor Party side. I do not blame them. It is going to be a pretty hard slog, I would say, defending a policy that goes: 'Vote Labor and be poorer'. That will be their slogan: 'Vote Labor and see your house price go down'. That is what Labor is offering: lower house prices and poorer Australians. (Time expired)
Mr Albanese interjecting—
Mr Dutton interjecting—