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Real estate industry to be put under review for underquoting, conduct by Victorian government

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Underquoting laws, off-the-plan sales and agent conduct will be put under the microscope in a state government review of the real estate industry amid affordability concerns.

Victoria’s real estate industry is set to undergo a shake up, with the government on Saturday announcing a review of underquoting laws, off-the-plan sales and agent conduct.

The plans, revealed by Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Melissa Horne, come amid rising affordability concerns and property prices driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and record-low interest rates.

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The review will scrutinise how the industry has changed as a result, with Ms Horne stating:

“Everyone has the right to secure and affordable housing and this review will ensure we’re delivering on this for all Victorians.”

“The property market has changed substantially in the past two years alone, so it’s important to make sure our laws are still best practice,” Ms Horne said.

The probe will take aim at issues that have emerged from “rampant underquoting and significant upfront costs for buyers to enter the market”, a statement from the government reads.

It will also examine pre-existing reforms to the Estate Agents Act introduced in 2016 regarding underquoting.

“If we need to make changes to give everyone a fair go, we will,” Ms Horne added.

It will also consider if further measures are needed to give agents and representatives the “expertise, skills and education they need to maintain ongoing good practice within the industry”.

A panel of industry professionals including former Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) chief Enzo Raimondo, consumer advocate Carolyn Bond OAM and regulation and reform expert Claire Noone, together with Nous Consultancy, will undertake the evaluation.

Community input, as well as stakeholder feedback will form part of the review.

To have your say on Victoria’s property market, visit www.engage.vic.gov.au/property-market-review.

Sign up to the Herald Sun Weekly Real Estate Update. Click here to get the latest Victorian property market news delivered direct to your inbox.

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alanah.frost@news.com.au

Originally published as Real estate industry to be put under review for underquoting, conduct by Victorian government

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