Term ends for president of Australian real estate's peak body

Hayden Groves’ presidency of the Real Estate Institute of Australia has come to an end after steering the organisation through an unprecedented housing and rental crises.

Hayden Groves stands in front of multicultural wall mural.
Hayden Groves has helped steer the REIA through a period marked by a chronic housing supply shortage. (Image source: REIA)

The head of Australia’s peak real estate body is exiting his role as President after presiding over a tumultuous nine years in the national property market.

Hayden Groves’ presidency of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has reached the end of its latest two-year tenure, with a new leader expected to be announced in early December following a board meeting vote.

His departure comes as the organisation has released its signature policy document on Australia’s housing crisis.

The second edition of Getting Real 2.0 details the REIA’s five policy priorities that aim to tackle the key property issues facing Australians, namely:

  • a home for all Australians - addressing the housing supply shortage 
  • safeguarding our digital domain 
  • the sustainability paradox – advocate and lead initiatives 
  • upholding ethics in real estate transactions 
  • better places and spaces – reassessing land availability, zoning and optimising housing supply.

“There is no single issue in the minds of Australians, as property consumers, taxpayers and voters, that is more prominent and more urgent than Australia’s housing crisis,” Mr Groves said.

“Additional challenges like stubbornly high inflation and rising interest rates, have brought a new dynamic to the fore”

The second edition follows the inaugural report released in October 2021, launched two months before Mr Groves assumed the REIA presidency and amidst Covid lockdowns.

Earlier this year, Mr Groves shared exclusively with API Magazine his insight into what he regarded as the top ten factors that will shape the property market into 2024.

Since 2015, Hayden served as REIA’s Deputy President and Chair of the REIA Finance, Risk and Audit Committee. He is also the immediate past President of the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) and past Real Estate Employers’ Federation (REEF) of Western Australia.

He holds a Bachelor of Politics (Hons) from Monash University, is a licensed real estate agent, auctioneer, and is an Associate of REIA.

Housing supply the priority, cybercrime a concern

The Getting Real 2.0 document makes it clear the lack of supply in Australia is driving the housing and rental crises.

In response, the REIA has restructured its supply policies to focus on unlocking existing housing inventory, removing “wicked problems” (such as land releases, national planning frameworks and government coordination), and building more houses.

The housing crisis has been described as abysmal, as a handbrake to Australia’s economy and a catastrophic failure of government foresight - it is all of these things and more.” 

The need to inject housing supply into the market is well known, but policies that look to re-invent supply chains without supporting the foundational investor models that supply $3 trillion worth of homes to renters is folly,” Mr Groves said.

Another issue of growing prominence among REIA members is cybersecurity.

In 2022, real estate companies of all sizes were targeted, with medium-sized enterprises incurring an average cost of $33,442 due to such breaches.

“The stakes are high, especially when agents could be held accountable for consumer financial losses and is linked to broader policy areas, including but not limited to anti-money laundering and broader privacy reforms,” Mr Groves said.

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