This policy sets out how properties are bought, sold or transferred on behalf of the South Australian Housing Trust (SAHT). This includes transactions involving SAHT properties, and those carried out on behalf of other government agencies.

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 South Australian Housing Authority Delegation and Authorisation 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

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’s unreasonable

When properties are offered for sale:

  • the marketing of a property cannot be below the current licensed valuation, agents 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 current licensed valuation, 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 four possible options to achieve best value for money
  • the 4 options of the possible sales price for the property are:
    • in its current condition
    • if minor maintenance works are performed
    • if major maintenance works are performed
    • subdivision and redevelopment possibilities

The current market valuation can’t be more than 180 days (6 months) old on the date a contract of sale’s signed, except if a delegate approves otherwise.

Selling to a Housing SA tenant

Housing SA tenants may be eligible to buy the property they’re renting if both of the below conditions are met:

  • the property’s available for sale
  • the tenant doesn’t have a debt of more than $200 to Housing SA on the date of the settlement

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 aren’t eligible to apply to buy the property but may be joint purchasers on the contract. 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’s 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’s received from a member of the public, private sector entity or not-for-profit organisation
  • the property’s available for sale
  • the proposal represents value for money and maximises the benefit for South Australians
  • it’s consistent with achieving the government’s broader goals and strategies
  • the property’s sold through an open, transparent and fair process involving a high standard of probity and public accountability

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 or if it’s determined the joint venture property’s no longer required by SAHT. Joint venture sales aren’t 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 v2
  • Progressive Purchase Scheme procedures v1

Related policies and other documents

  • South Australian Housing Authority Delegation and Authorisation Framework

Date this policy applies from

27 October 2020

Version number


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