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PSA report on real estate agents' fees



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MS.

TREASURER

N O . 16 8

EMBARGO

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER ASSISTING THE TREASURER THE HON PETER BALDWIN, MP AND THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH,^ HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES THE HON BRIAN HOWE, M P /

PSA REPORT ON REAL ESTATE AGENTS' FEES

The report of the Prices Surveillance Authority (PSA) on its inquiry into real estate agents' fees relating to residential property transactions has been received by the Minister Assisting the Treasurer, the Hon Peter Baldwin.

The inquiry arose in the context of the Government's concern about the possible effects of private sector transactions costs on the affordability and appropriateness of housing.

"This report provides a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the setting of real estate agents' fees. It draws attention to the need for State Governments and real estate institutes involved in the regulation of the industry to re-examine their practices to ensure greater competition in fees charged for real estate agents' services", the Ministers

said.

The Ministers called on the real estate industry to work co-operatively in addressing the issues raised by the PSA.

Mr Howe noted, in particular, that Issues Paper 6 of the National Housing Strategy released recently highlighted the need to reduce housing barriers, including access and transaction costs.

"Transaction costs involved in buying and selling homes such as real estate agents' fees, conveyancing fees and finance charges can discourage existing home owners from moving to more appropriate housing when their needs change", he said.

Mr Howe pointed out that this can lead to an inefficient use of Australia's housing stock - 80 per cent of our housing is detached yet half of the households contain only one or two people.

COMMONWEALTH P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBRARY M iC A H

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Mr Howe said "the Commonwealth is working with State and local government and industry to demonstrate alternative housing styles to ensure greater choice of housing for people. It is important for the Commonwealth, States and Territories to work closely together to consider how the PSA recommendations can be adopted so as to achieve lower transaction costs for consumers."

CANBERRA ACT 30 October 1992

Enquiries:

Mr Howe's Office Frank Maas (06) 277 7680

Mr Baldwin's Office Sarah Taylor (06) 277 7540