Legislative Changes Propel Growth in Australia’s Build-to-Rent Sector

In a recent Sydney Morning Herald article by Carolyn Cummins, the burgeoning build-to-rent sector in Australia, valued at $16.87 billion, is explored. The sector, which only represents 0.2% of the residential housing market, is seeing pressure for legislative reforms from all government levels to fuel its growth. Major developers like Mirvac and Lendlease are pushing expansion projects, such as Melbourne's Gurrowa Place. The proposed reduction of the MIT withholding tax from 30% to 15% could spur the addition of 150,000 apartments by 2033, enhancing the sector's potential to address the national housing shortage.

May 1, 2024

In a recent article by Carolyn Cummins for the Sydney Morning Herald, the spotlight is on the booming build-to-rent sector in Australia. Pressure is being exerted all levels of government for legislative reforms to strengthen the foundation of the build to rent market. Leading developers like Mirvac, Lendlease, Greystar, and Novus are at the forefront, capitalising on this sector to help alleviate the national housing shortage.

This sector has an estimated value of $16.87 billion, despite representing just 0.2% of the total residential housing sector, according to EY. Build-to-rent is poised for explosive growth, with planned expansion including projects like Melbourne’s Gurrowa Place at Queen Victoria Market, which integrates build-to-rent units with commercial spaces.

Key to the sustainability of this growth will be legislative reform. Recent draft legislation proposes a significant incentive: reducing the managed investment trust (MIT) withholding tax rate from 30% to 15% on build-to-rent projects. This change could potentially add 150,000 apartments by 2033, including 10,000 affordable homes, according to EY's modelling commissioned by the Property Council.

For building surveyors and inspectors like myself, the rapid expansion of the build-to-rent sector presents both opportunities and challenges. As this sector grows, our roles in ensuring compliance with building standards and regulations become increasingly crucial, especially given the fast-paced construction schedules typical of such developments. Our expertise will be pivotal in overseeing these projects to ensure they meet the rigorous standards required for safety and quality.