Insight: Is it worth buying before a federal election?

The upcoming federal election could have major implications for property investors, but is it worth jumping into the market now before negative gearing is changed? Smart Property Investment editor Phil Tarrant gives his take. 


While negative gearing should not be they key motivator of an investment decision, it is still an important consideration for budgets and strategic planning. 

Speaking on the Property Investing Matters show, Mr Tarrant together with host Margaret Lomas answered a question from viewer Hank, who asked if they would still buy before the upcoming election with the Labor government’s proposed changes to negative gearing .

Regardless of the context, Mr Tarrant said a smart property investor should be considering buying when they can afford to buy, first and foremost.

However, with the added context of the federal election, it is difficult to speculate at the moment with minimal policies being shared about property, he said.


“If you look at the polls right now, it’s going to be a highly contested election, and I think a lot of it is going to come down to what the different political parties are saying about property investment, taxation, spending,” Mr Tarrant said.

“On the taxation side of things, there’s a lot of scuttlebutt [on] the removal of negative gearing should the Labor government come in.

"Now, I’ve spoken to a lot of people about this particular question, and there is a sentiment that it is going to be very competitive and if the Labor government does come in, and that’s a big if, but if it does come in, they may use this as a key policy for shaping their agenda for this election.”

Oncoming boom

Assuming a Labor victory, Mr Tarrant believes that miniature property booms are likely to show up before the implementation of the negative gearing policy; Labor has promised investments will be grandfathered, allowing for those who hold property before the policy comes into power to retain negative gearing.

However, these booms should not deter smart property investors from making rash decisions.

“Don’t get caught up in the hype, don’t think that you should be hurrying to invest in property … if you cannot afford it purely on the basis that you may get some negative gearing benefits out of it.”

Ms Lomas added for investors who are ready to buy and have had their finances cleared, but are being held back by procrastination, that this time could be good for property investors.

“I’d definitely used this as a great deadline to make yourself go out and acquire something, and more than one if that’s within your risk profile before the election so that you can benefit from any existing rules,” she said.

“I don’t think the rules will get any better for property investors. They’ll either stay the same or be worse.”

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