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'They’re actually selling and getting out of the market': why property investors are leaving

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Property experts have revealed they are seeing more and more investors leaving the Sunshine Coast housing market, at a time when the region is screaming out for rental properties.

Local property developer and founder of WOW Property Women Lorna Willis said the red tape put on investors was forcing them to sell up.

“It’s really sad for me to see people I know, who I’ve encouraged to set themselves up for the future, to say ‘it’s just too hard to own a rental property’ and they’re actually selling and getting out of the market,” she told the Homes for Everyone podcast.

“We have tarnished the name ‘property investor’ or ‘property developer’ – if we called them a ‘housing provider’, it gives a whole other sentiment doesn’t it?”

Property investment specialist Linda Ireland agreed, saying the rising cost of property ownership was impacting investors deeply.

“A lot of investors are feeling the pinch and perhaps if they’ve gone out and got a second job to get that property for their future, they’re now burnt out, they’re exhausted, they’re tired and they’re saying to themselves ‘why am I doing this?’. It’s not feeling meaningful and good and this is causing a lot of pressure,” she said.

“These people, they are mums and dads, they do care and they do want to do good.”

(From left) Wolfgang Schulte, Lorna Willis, Mal Cayley and Linda Ireland recording the Homes for Everyone podcast.

Property investors currently house seven million Australians and 1.5 million Queenslanders. They are a key part of the answer to solving the housing crisis as they can deliver more rental homes quickly.

One Sunshine Coast man who is working with investors to be part of the solution in an affordable and environmentally friendly way is Timber Garden Cabins director Wolfgang Schulte.

“When you drive around town there’s so much space in backyards, you’ve got 600sqm blocks or 700 or even 1000, and while there are restrictions with council there is also a lot of opportunity to put a granny flat in those backyards,” he said.

In September 2022 the law changed in Queensland so homeowners can rent out granny flats to anyone, not just family members.

Related story: Innovator presents flat-pack home idea to industry experts

Direct Collective chief operating officer and Homes for Everyone founder Mal Cayley said every level of government needed to give investors more confidence to avoid them leaving the market.

“The problem is the lack of certainty and the lack of knowledge at all three levels of government – they are part of the biggest barrier of people wanting to do more,” he said.

He commended Mr Schulte for his initiative.

“Without solutions like this, without people putting second dwellings on and looking for alternatives, we’re in trouble – the government won’t meet the demand that exists already,” Mr Cayley said.

The Homes for Everyone initiative is calling for people to fill in the form at Homes for Everyone for so that the collective voice of the community can influence real, positive changes to solve the housing crisis.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify, iHeartRadio or visit Homes for Everyone.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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