News & Insights

30 May/24

2024-2025 Federal Budget Commentary with Leap Real Estate Co-founder, Ken Dodds

As Co-founder and Managing Director of Resimax Group’s property management partner, Leap Real Estate, Ken Dodds is one of Melbourne’s most trusted and respected property professionals.

Having been at the company’s helm for nearly two decades, Ken holds a robust knowledge of real estate markets, property investment and land development on both a local and international scale.

Following the recent 2024-2025 Federal Budget announcement, we sat down with Ken to discuss his opinion on the allocations for the housing sector and his predictions for how these measures will impact both Resimax Group and the wider property industry.


Lack of housing supply must be meaningfully addressed

While the Federal Budget acknowledged some challenges and contributed more money and strategic focus to combat Australia’s housing crisis, much more still needs to be done to address the issue’s root cause.

“I think that the short-term focus on providing a small amount of relief is not going to be the real answer to this problem when we have a massive supply issue,” said Ken.

“Investing funds into clearing up the regulatory roadblocks in the planning and approvals process, such as improving the ability of local councils to authorise applications, should have been a bigger priority. These kinds of measures make it easier for developers to build homes, which will be critical in increasing supply at the necessary rate.”


Renters under pressure are looking for more

The Federal Budget’s allocation of $1.9 billion to increase the maximum rate of Commonwealth Rental Assistance will be insufficient in easing the significant financial pressures on renters, according to Ken.

“When we’re talking about $75 a quarter for a family, that support doesn’t eat much into the sharp cost-of-living rises we’ve seen over the last few years.”

Following a rise of more than 32% in rent over the last four years and rental vacancies currently sitting at a historic low of 1%, Ken argues that private enterprises and governments of all levels must work together to rectify current issues in the rental market.

“Leap Real Estate’s recent introduction of the Leap Year program will in some small way help to combat these problems. But Resimax Group can’t do this by itself. The private and public sectors must come together to create an impactful response to current market conditions.”


Investors must be incentivised to return

While some measures announced in the Federal Budget will have short-term benefits for investors, Ken believes more must be done to encourage local and international investors to keep investing in the property market.

“The updated stage 3 tax cuts will help our owners and investors by offering additional borrowing capacity in the short term. However, I would have loved to see the government improve the opportunity for foreign investment in residential property ownership,” he said.

“With the application of a 4% Foreign Owner Surcharge, increased land taxes, and the lowering of the land tax threshold, property ownership in Victoria has been made more difficult than it should be.

“Investment properties provide such a valuable service here in the Australian rental market, and without the government removing some of the regulations, high taxes, and stamp duty costs involved, the incentive for investors to buy and maintain these homes is removed.”


Looking ahead

While market conditions remain tenuous, Ken predicts that change is not far away.

“Australia is very resilient; we go through these difficult cycles from time to time, but the market will ultimately recover. I believe that we’re only 12 or so months away from seeing things start to improve, but it would be a lot easier if the government focused on more long-term outcomes rather than short-term fixes.”

As the property industry looks towards another year of turmoil and change, Resimax Group is perfectly positioned to adapt to any shifts that may occur in the market.

“We are continuing to grow. We’re delivering homes and land allotments to homebuyers and investors, and our rent-to-own initiatives will help renters pursue home ownership in these tough conditions.

“Our team is incredibly motivated and focused, so the business has the opportunity to make decisions quickly and take advantage of circumstances as they arise,” concluded Ken.