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.

 

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podcast

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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
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Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
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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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  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

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!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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