“It’s vital that the funding is extended to include making existing homes and investment properties more resilient to serious economic downturns, like the one we’re experiencing right now.”
The Diddillibah man said one way of “pandemic proofing” the housing industry was for private investors to flip properties on the Coast to better suit the population’s needs.
“I don’t want to see stimulus going toward community housing providers and not-for-profits,” he said.
“They already get enough funding and they’re very inefficient with how they produce housing.
“What I see is the absolute ability for private investors to be able to stimulate the economy by using those tradies and the stimulus to create a better micro apartment set up in housing on the Sunshine Coast, in particular.”
Mr Ugarte said of those who are looking for rentals now, 60 to 80 per cent of the market are single people or couples. “But the majority of housing available on the Sunshine Coast is three, four and five bedroom houses,” he said.
“So what we suggest is the stimulus be used towards the renovations of those properties for the investors to change them into what the actual demographic really needs on the Sunshine Coast right now.
“These four-bedroom, two bathroom properties that they build are just not fit-for purpose for the families or non- families that need them.”
Transforming one large property into five self contained micro-apartments would be a win-win for both investors and tenants, Mr Ugarte said.
“Struggling investors could use this stimulus payment to fund a conversion that can take less than a week to complete and generate rental income of between $300-$900 per week more than the property next door,” he said.
“If they allowed the funding to be extended to investment properties that allow the conversion of the 12 million empty bedrooms every night, then that would have an immediate impact to housing affordability and open up opportunity to allow the residents in this style of house to save money towards their own deposit relatively quickly.”
Although there are further costs involved for the investors, including utilities and higher commission rates for real estate agents, Mr Ugarte said it would make securing new tenants easier and double their rental yield almost immediately.
“It changes the whole purpose of losing money so that you can get your tax back,” he said.
“That only works when you’ve got a job and you’re a high income earner.“I’m a fan of creating policy that makes a change so that private investors can turn their property portfolio around from negative geared to positive geared while at the same time, helping the community out and providing much- needed affordable housing.”
Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said the HomeBuilder scheme would be a vital lifeline for one of the Coast’s most important industry sectors. “The government’s HomeBuilder scheme is going to help save jobs and livelihoods on the Sunshine Coast and provide a great leg up for locals who are looking to buy their own home or substantially improve their existing home,” he said.
“If you have been saving toward renovating your home, or building a new home to live in, now is the time to get the project started.
DOWNLOAD the HomeBuilder Scheme Fact Sheet HERE.