Scott Morrison is becoming a real expert in dropping out bad news late in the afternoon, this time in a monumental and expected backflip on his original decision to ban the build-to-rent sector.
It was late one afternoon in 2017 that Scott Morrison’s build-to-rent debacle rent began and it was late one afternoon in 2018 that it ended.
The courageous Treasurer waited until after 5pm yesterday to announce the long awaited yet humiliating back down and even then Mr Morrison tried to bury the back down in the next stage of a consultation process on stapled structures.
It wasn’t that long ago that Scott Morrison was using the front page of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph to attack Labor for supporting the build to rent sector.  But he doesn’t want his back down and adoption of the very same position he attacked just weeks ago to be front page news.
The last 12 months has been excruciating for the property sector.
This is better late than never though and this is a back down that Federal Labor welcomes.
Mr Morrison rushed out his unilateral ban on Managed Investment Schemes investing in residential build-to-rent late on afternoon in September last year – not in the 2017 Budget as Mr Morrison claimed yesterday - totally blind siding the property sector and disrupting and delaying billion dollar investment plans for Australia’s housing market.
Scott Morrison’s bad policy call has not been without costs, it has been bad for certainty and investment and has delayed new build-to-rent projects getting off the ground.
To their credit, the NSW Coalition and Victorian Labor Governments have consistently supported build-to-rent and understand the role it plays in adding to housing supply and giving renters more choice in the market.
Now the property sector can get on with attracting investment to the sector and offering more choice and adding supply to the housing market.