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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podcast

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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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Launceston
Raceview

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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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