Tax and legal advice
Negative gearing reform should prioritise 'mum and dad' investors

Negative gearing reform should prioritise ‘mum and dad’ investors

By Lucy Dean

According to a property research institute, negative gearing prioritises those who are “more affluent”, and should be reformed to allow for mum and dad investors to receive greater access to tax concessions.

However, the proposal from the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has not been received with open arms by industry players.

Responding to the AHURI report, released yesterday, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said taxing investors is no solution to housing affordability.

AHURI suggested a means-tested approach to negative gearing, in which sophisticated investors receive less return – and as such incentive – than the ‘mum and dad’ investors.

The institute argued that this was a more politically palatable solution to the country-wide concern.

Researchers Alan Duncan, Helen Hodgson, John Minas, Rachel Ong and Richard Seymour said: “Negative gearing and CGT discount benefits are currently heavily skewed towards those who are more affluent, raising concerns around the extent to which such policies exacerbate income and wealth inequality among the Australian population.”

They continued, arguing that a “progressive rental deduction reform” in which ‘mum and dad’ investors have greater access to tax concessions than their ‘sophisticated’ counterparts based on income and wealth levels would cushion the lower-tier investors from serious financial hits.

Further, they said it would “moderate adverse impacts on their economic wellbeing in comparison to a blunt cap on rental deductions”.

“A progressive rental deduction reform has the potential to reduce inequities in the current negative gearing system by reducing tax savings by proportionately greater amounts for those with higher income or property asset levels,” the researchers said.

However, the principle economist at the HIA, Tim Reardon, disagreed.

“Any new taxes or changes to negative gearing will exacerbate the affordability challenge by discouraging investment in new housing, force up the cost of renting and make it harder for first home buyers and renters to get into a home,” he said.

“Increasing taxes on housing through additional stamp duty, means testing negative gearing or increasing capital gains tax, will create additional barriers to investing in residential property and so supply will fall.”

A fall in supply will mean prices for both renters and owner-occupiers will increase, he argued, calling for boosted supply.

“This involves adequate release of land for new dwellings including increasing the density of housing in metropolitan areas.

“Increasing the tax imposed on rental housing at a time when there is inadequate supply of rental accommodation will drive up rental prices further making it increasingly difficult for first home buyers to save a deposit.”

In an earlier statement, the HIA’s managing director Shane Goodwin said the current “crisis” is the result of 20 years of poor policy.

“For too long governments have chosen quick fix options to the very long-term problem of housing affordability. Australia needs brave and bold policies that go to the heart of the affordability problem,” Mr Goodwin said.

“We need to resume the discussion around tax especially where it cascades applies to land and housing and put an end to upfront taxes that are keeping so many first home buyers out of the market,” he continued, responding to a Grattan Institute report which called for an additional 50,000 properties to be built annually for the next decade, among other policy initiatives.

“We need to get serious about planning reform, these things are the keys to solving housing affordability which have largely been overlooked by state and federal governments.”

According to a Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) and Adelaide Bank report, housing affordability has worsened, with the proportion of the average family income needed to cover the average loan repayment increasing by 1.3 per cent in the December 2017 quarter.

That means the proportion is now 31.6 per cent.

To REIA president Malcolm Gunning, the Grattan Institute report makes sense. However, building an extra 50,000 homes a year is not a simple prospect.

“We need to address this with some urgency and reform the planning and approval process. We need all tiers of government involved and implementing change,” Mr Gunning said.

“REIA believes a first step in this is the appointment of a minister of property services. This would also recognise the importance of the property sector as a driver of economic growth and employment.

“Property investment supported by historically low interest rates has been a significant contributor to growth in the Australian economy since 2013-14 as we transition away from a decade-long reliance on mining.”

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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
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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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  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "From pirouettes to property investment"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(38) "from-pirouettes-to-property-investment"
  ["introtext"]=>
  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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
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Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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