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Pros and cons of using SMSFs for property investment

By eSuperfund

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Property is an increasingly popular investment class for SMSFs. Like all investment options, this choice has its own pros and cons.

While property is a popular asset class to invest in for many using a self-managed super fund (SMSF) – led in no small part by the appeal of ‘bricks and mortar’ as a physical asset – it is not quite as simple as buy, set and forget. It is crucial that investors seeking to realise investment returns from this asset class do so lawfully and effectively by first weighing up the benefits and drawbacks.

Property as an investment
One of the key advantages of owning an SMSF is the ability to use funds to invest in real estate. Property investment has for decades been a key driver of wealth in Australia, and is another plank for developing a diversified investment portfolio. Property is viewed by many as a relatively safe investment option, given that it is a physical asset that will always be in demand and it tends to be a much less volatile asset class than shares, for example.

Property also has the potential to provide 2 sources of revenue to drive growth in your retirement savings.

• Rental returns can provide an ongoing source of cash flow. Rental incomes can be used to fund other investment purchases and negatively geared properties allow for tax breaks across the SMSF’s earnings.
• Capital growth can be realised when the property is sold. While still subject to tax, properties held long-term by an SMSF can yield hefty returns that may not be matched by other investment classes.

Restrictions on investment
There are specific regulations in place for the purchase of property with an SMSF. ASIC’s MoneySmart has a comprehensive guide to property investment restrictions. The majority of these restrictions are related to the occupation of residential properties. As with all superannuation-funded investments, properties can only be used for purposes of investment and therefore, will have occupation restrictions. Residential properties will face occupation restrictions whereas commercial properties tend to face less. SMSF-owned residences cannot, for instance, be occupied or rented by any of the SMSF’s trustees or parties relating to them, nor can a property established as a holiday home be used by any trustee or family member.

However, these occupation restrictions are largely unique to residential properties. Commercial properties, on the other hand, can be owned by an SMSF and tenanted to a business operated by a trustee or family member. This means that the property type is also another factor that needs to be considered when using SMSF to invest in property.

Funding property acquisition
How you fund the property will depend on how much your SMSF has available to invest. If there is enough cash available, the fund can purchase the property outright. Things are less straightforward when a loan is required to fund part of the property.

Unlike the purchase of an owner-occupied property with the help of a mortgage, using an SMSF to fund a property acquisition requires a particular loan agreement known as a limited recourse borrowing arrangement. This facility places certain restrictions on the use of borrowed funds, such as that loans can only be used to purchase and maintain a property and not to carry out improvements.

Additionally, ASIC points out that tax offsets can only be used against the fund’s earnings, not your own personal income, and that enough cash needs to be available within the fund to service loan repayments and ongoing property maintenance expenses.

While there are many benefits to using an SMSF to invest in property, care must be given to when adhering to the strict regulations in place in order to ensure the investment endures. Be sure to investigate all types of property to invest in to achieve the best returns for your superannuation.

For more information about SMSFs, download our free SMSF Guide to Investing in Property eBook or Information Package today. If you’re ready to establish an SMSF, you can apply now with ESUPERFUND.


Sources:
ASIC’s MoneySmart Investing: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/investing/property
ASIC’s MoneySmart Superannuation and Retirement: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/self-managed-super-fund-smsf/smsfs-and-property

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  ["title"]=>
  string(72) "Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option"
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(255) "

Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

" ["fulltext"]=> string(818) "

To hear more about these services, make sure to tune in to this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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Son Pham is the accredited Head of Mortgages at Rethink Financing\/Rethink Investing. He has over 6 years\u2019 experience writing loans, over 12 years in the wealth management industry working for the likes of CBA, AMP and private practice and he is also a licenced financial planner (AFSL 326450). He has multiple investment properties that are cash flow positive which help pay his mortgage on his home and fund his lifestyle.<\/p>\r\n

Son is able to write all types of residential and commercial property loans.<\/p>\r\n

In this episode of Property Showcase, head of mortgages at Rethink investing Son Pham joins host Tim Neary to unpack how an investor should approach getting a mortgage in place with banks tightening down on serviceability.<\/p>\r\n

Hear from\u00a0Son\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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  • The pitfalls that he has seen people get into<\/li>\r\n
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    Whether it\u2019s building a successful property portfolio or investing in one of their Development Funds, Open Corp can help you through every stage of your investment journey. The team has 40 property specialists who collectively have been involved in over $4 billion worth of property transactions and the acquisition of more than 8000 homes and investment properties.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode of Property Showcase, director of investment services for Open Corp Michael Beresford,\u00a0joins\u00a0editor of Real Estate, Tim Neary to share why he disagrees that the cooling market means that the best times are behind us.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode, hear from\u00a0Michael\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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    • Why Brisbane is a good investment option right now<\/li>\r\n
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Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option
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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
object(stdClass)#1186 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18287"
  ["title"]=>
  string(75) "Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(74) "regional-victoria-showing-up-melbourne-in-price-performance-new-data-finds"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(139) "

Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds

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