Tax and legal advice
Robert Stevens

Should I buy property with an SMSF?

By Robert Stevens

Buying property through super is a great way to build up your retirement savings. In the right situation it is an excellent strategy that delivers the choices, freedom and quality of life you want in retirement.

Blogger: Robert Stevens, co-director, Allied Investment Group

Using a self-managed superannuation fund to buy a property for wealth creation allows you to use your super fund balance as leverage. In most cases, you can borrow up to 80 per cent of the property value. Your super fund will contribute a 20 per cent deposit, plus around 5 per cent for purchase costs such as stamp duty.

So it is easy to see why taking advantage of this ability to borrow using an SMSF is gaining popularity. The significant tax benefits within super grow your retirement nest egg much faster because rental income on a property held inside super is taxed at just 15 per cent compared with up to 45 per cent depending on your tax bracket outside super. In the event of a sale post-retirement, any capital gain is tax-free. The more tax efficient you are able to retire, the more money you’ll have in your pocket to plan your perfect lifestyle in retirement.

To qualify and employ this super strategy, you need to meet TWO conditions:

1. Have a household income of at least $80,000

2. Have a combined super balance of at least $100,000 between you and your partner across all super accounts

Key benefits of having a SMSF:

Given super is compulsory, an SMSF allows you to choose the assets (including property of choice) you want to invest in. When you set up an SMSF, you’re in charge and you make the investment decisions for the fund and you’re responsible for complying with the law. It’s a major financial undertaking and you need to have the time and skills to do it. Therefore you should consider professional advice to explain the different ways an SMSF can benefit you, for example:

  • Ability to reduce income tax on investment income and capital gains
  • Increasing your flexibility of investment choice, asset selection and giving you control
  • Ability to manage the risk profile of your investments
  • Managing the income streams at retirement for you and other members of the SMSF
  • Ability to transfer personal assets (shares, gold, art, property etc) into your SMSF
  • Pooling assets of up to four members into the SMSF will save on costs

So if you like property as an investment class, only an SMSF allows you to purchase direct property with your super money. But there are some common SMSF property rules you’ll need to follow.

The property:

  • Must meet the ‘sole purpose test’ of solely providing retirement benefits to fund members
  • Must not be acquired from a related party of a member
  • Must not be lived in by a fund member or any fund member's related parties
  • Must not be rented by a fund member or any fund member's related parties

An example:

Difference of financing a property inside super v. outside super

Two couples purchase an investment property for $400K at age 40 with a 20 per cent deposit. They have a combined family income of $100,000 with one partner earning $70K and the other $30K. The only difference is that Couple #1 buy the property outside super whereas Couple #2 purchase a property inside an SMSF.

Fast forward 20 years. Both couples are now 60. Couple #1’s property is worth $1,282,854, and they hold $962,854 equity in the property. After rental growth, the weekly rent is now $1,283 but of that the couple take home only $1,029 a week after a marginal tax rate of 32.5 per cent is applied. If they sell instead, they would come away with $761,909 in cash in after costs and capital gains tax of 22.5 per cent.

Not a bad result, but compare that to Couple #2 who bought their property within their super. Couple #2’s property is worth the same: $1,282,854. But because of the tax advantages, they also hold $962,854 in equity plus an additional $77,083 in savings accumulated along the way. The weekly rent they now receive is $1,283, which is 100 per cent tax-free. That accounts for another $254 per week more than Couple #1. If Couple #2 decided to sell their property, they could do so without paying a cent in capital gains tax. The net result is that they would come away with $998,022 in cash after all costs which is $236,113 more than Couple #1 – all because they chose to invest with an SMSF.

Read more: 

Which property strategy is the winner? 

5 budget-friendly ways to update your investment property  

Perth suburbs with achievable capital growth 

Can a tenant refuse you access to your property? 

How to renoncile your dream with your budget 

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About the Blogger

Robert Stevens

Robert Stevens

Working over half his years in the finance and property industries, Robert Stevens is a certified practising accountant, financial planner and mortgage broker.

Starting as an Accountant in Adelaide, Robert then moved into financial services working for investment banks before becoming a co-founder of Allied Investment Group.

Robert loves helping people achieve their lifestyle goals and has helped hundreds of people tackle the complex world of investing and plan for comfortable retirement.

 

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

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:

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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!

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

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

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, Michael Beresford joins editor of Wealth James Mitchell to unpack why recent political changes are not reason for concern for Australian investors.<\/p>\r\n

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

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:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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