On Friday May the 13th the entire real estate industry launched into full attack-mode against those willing to reform negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount. The ALP and the Greens have both announced reforms targeting the subsidy to landed interests.

That night Channel 10’s The Project sought to find a representative to discuss their campaign. Their media advisors must have warned the twenty plus PR experts representing the Real Estate Institute of Australia, their state bodies, the Property Council and the dozen major real estate agencies that this TV show had recently produced a segment slamming negative gearing. The Project’s piece received half a million views within days on the Facebook video alone.

An alternative view is that the real estate lobby were still out celebrating their long Friday lunch in the knowledge that land prices had risen $525 billion in the last financial year.

Prosper Australia’s Catherine Cashmore stepped into the breech to dissect this naked self-interest with gusto. It is compelling viewing.

The real estate lobby’s scare campaign website entails a comment debate that is a site to behold. In a sign of just how far the debate has come since we started calling for NG on ‘new home builds only’ back in 2003, the vast number of comments favour the ALP/ Greens policy reform agenda. Chime in! Leith van Onselen shoots down the lobby’s ‘facts’ in Real estate locusts invade your mailbox.

Quarantining NG to new home builds only will certainly increase supply. It will also curtail demand for existing homes. Those that buy at more affordable prices will reduce pressure for the rental market, and enjoy more discretionary spending power. For too long investors have been able to outbid home buyers in the knowledge future expected capital gains AND the negative gearing write off will bail out their investment decision.

In good news for democracy, this week’s Roy Morgan poll found that both the ALP and the Greens increased in popularity, a sure sign that more people are able to see through what Catherine said on The Project, that people would not believe the scare campaign because the facts just do not stack up.

The battle is certainly on – sign our petition in support of negative gearing and CGT reform now.