This policy sets out how properties are bought, sold or transferred on behalf of the South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT).

This policy also applies to transactions managed under the Community Housing Property Transactions Policy.

Transactions are approved by a relevant delegate in line with the SA Housing Authority Delegations and Authorisation – Financial Schedule.

Buying properties

SAHT buys property to:

  • meet social housing priorities and objectives
  • support or facilitate urban renewal programs, projects and initiatives
  • obtain a presence in locations with few social houses or limited opportunities to build new social housing
  • quickly respond to changes in customer demand
  • facilitate the urgent housing or relocation of social housing tenants

Buying social housing stock

Property can be bought for use as social housing stock if it meets all the below conditions:

  • it meets social housing priorities and objectives as specified in strategic documents or asset management plans
  • it’s in a high demand or priority location with low social housing concentration, and no existing building program or project to meet housing needs
  • it’s either newly constructed, or an established dwelling that’s been thoroughly refurbished or needs minimal maintenance or upgrades
  • it’s close to transport, schools, shops, community services and facilities

Properties with off-street parking are preferred.

In special circumstances, a property that doesn’t meet these conditions may be bought, for example the property meets the needs of a tenant with a disability.

Buying Progressive Purchase Scheme properties

SAHT may buy back a tenant’s interest in a property bought under the Progressive Purchase Scheme if all the below conditions are met:

  • the tenant wants to sell all their interest in the property
  • the property’s in good condition and doesn’t need major maintenance, upgrades or refurbishment
  • buying the property’s in the tenant’s interest and supports their ongoing housing needs
  • the property meets the conditions for buying social housing stock in line with this policy.

In special circumstances, the tenant may apply to Housing SA to remain in the property as a tenant.

Selling SAHT properties (including land sales)

A property isn’t generally available for sale in any of the below situations:

  • it’s required for redevelopment purposes
  • it’s required for a housing program, project or initiative
  • it’s in an area where SAHT wants to retain social rental housing stock
  • the cost of separating services or changing a certificate of title is not financially viable

When properties are offered for sale:

  • the marketing price of a property cannot be below the highest of either the current licensed valuation, real estate agent’s market appraisal or the Valuer General’s on file Capital/Site value (CV or SV), except if a delegate approves otherwise
  • the sales price must be the highest of the either current licensed valuation, real estate agents market appraisal, or the Valuer General’s on file Capital/Site value (CV or SV)
  • the real estate agent is required as part of the market appraisal to provide at least five possible options to achieve best value for money and the highest sale price
  • the 5 options of the possible sales price for the property should include:
    • if the property is sold in its current condition
    • if minor maintenance works are performed
    • if major maintenance works are performed
    • identify any subdivision and redevelopment possibilities
    • any strategic value
  • The current market valuation cannot be more than 180 days old (approximately 6 months) at the time of marketing approval given to an appointed real estate agent. No further valuation is required whilst the property remains on the market; and
  • If the listing has been removed from the market for whatever reason, and the valuation is more than 180 days old, then a review, or a new valuation is to be requested prior to being put back onto the market.

Sales under the Affordable Housing Initiative (including land sales)

  • the marketing price of a property cannot be below the highest of either the current licensed valuation, real estate agent’s market appraisal or the Valuer General’s on file Capital/Site value (CV or SV) if available, except if a delegate approves otherwise
  • The current market valuation cannot be more than 180 days old (approximately 6 months) at the time of marketing approval given to an appointed real estate agent. No further valuation is required whilst the property remains on the market; and
  • If the listing has been removed from the market for whatever reason, and the valuation is more than 180 days old, then a review, or a new valuation is to be requested prior to being put back onto the market.

Selling to a Housing SA tenant

Housing SA tenant’s may be eligible to buy the property they are renting if these conditions are met:

  • if the property can be released for sale and it is available for sale
  • if the tenant has a debt to Housing SA, a debt arrangement must be entered into and the debt paid in full prior to the date of the settlement, or provide proof the debt has been incorporated into their approved home purchase finance, to be finalised at settlement of the property

The sale price of a property cannot be below the highest of either the current licensed valuation or the Valuer General’s on file Capital/Site value (CV or SV).

The Tenant must be a signatory to the contract of sale and be registered on the Certificate of Title as a registered proprietor, joint tenant or tenants in common. Other household occupants or other people nominated by the Tenant are not eligible to apply to buy the property but may be joint purchasers on the contract of sale. No assignment of the tenant’s entire interest is permissible to other parties.

Selling to a not-for-profit organisation

Available properties may be sold to not-for-profit organisations if it would support long-term affordable housing outcomes. Suitable properties are offered through a registration of interest process before they’re offered for sale on the open market or through a sales program.

Open market sales

Vacant property that is surplus to need may be sold on the open market. If it is made available for sale through a sales program, for example Affordable Homes Program, buyers may need to meet eligibility criteria.

Off-market sales

Property may be sold off-market if all the below conditions are met:

  • an unsolicited proposal is received from another government or  commercial entity, or a not-for-profit organisation
  • the property can be released for sale and is available for sale
  • the proposal represents value for money and maximises the benefit for South Australians
  • it is consistent with achieving the government’s broader goals and strategies
  • the property is sold through an open, transparent, and fair process involving a high standard of probity and public accountability

South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS) Audit

The integrity of the data recorded against all registered dealings where SAHT is a party to the dealing will be verified by undertaking a daily audit against the ownership records held in the Lands Titles Office. Each day a report of dealings lodged and registered against Titles in the name of SAHT will be generated using the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS) and the data checked against relevant records to ensure there has been no fraudulent dealings with SAHT land.

This reconciliation will be conducted by the Contracts Coordinator, checked by the Contracts Manager and fully documented on the SAILIS report which will be retained as evidence of completion of the audit.

Selling property to a joint venture partner

Real property that either forms part of the Jubilee 150 Joint Venture Agreement, or is located within a joint venture area, may be offered for sale, or sold to the joint venture partner upon their request, if it is in accordance with the Joint Venture Agreement, or if it is determined the joint venture property is no longer required by SAHT. Joint venture sales are not treated as an off-market sale.

Selling property for other agencies

SAHT may sell residential property on the open market on behalf of another government agency, for example SA Health, Disability SA. These sales are performed on a fee-for-service basis.

Related information

Controlling documents

This policy is based on and complies with:

Supporting procedures

  • Real property transaction procedures
  • Progressive Purchase Scheme procedures

Related policies and other documents

  • South Australian Housing Authority Delegation and Authorisation Framework

Date this policy applies from

7 November 2022

Version number

4

The online version of the policy is the approved and current version. There is no guarantee that any printed copies are current.