The public and private sectors must be encouraged to work collaboratively to increase rental supply and improve rental affordability for tenants, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

PIPA said addressing the country’s critical undersupply of rental properties must be a key policy for the winning party in this year’s Federal Election.

Chair Nicola McDougall said that while investors returned to the market in 2021, they had been mostly absent from the market for a few years beforehand, reducing the supply of rental properties available for tenants.

“The main reason why many investors did not purchase properties from 2017 is that nationwide lending restrictions prevented them from doing so,” Ms McDougall said.

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“At the time, the restrictions were mainly because of Sydney’s strong property price growth during the mid-2010s. However, the instigation of fewer interest-only loans and higher interest rates on investment loans impacted investors around the nation.”

“It’s not enough for political parties to simply offer piecemeal funding for ‘affordable housing’ when there is currently a critical undersupply of rental properties that was written in the cards in 2017 when lending restrictions came into play,” Ms McDougall said.

PIPA believe political parties must develop a significant and sustainable policy that increases the supply of rental properties, similar to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

“A system needs to be developed to encourage the private and public sectors to work collaboratively to increase rental supply and improve rental affordability for tenants,” she said.