Tax and legal advice

Negative gearing is unfair, says economist

By webmaster

Negative gearing is one of a large number of loopholes and concessions in the tax system that detracts from its fairness and adds to its complexity without doing anything to increase the supply of housing, according to an industry figure.

Speaking at yesterday’s federal government tax summit in Canberra, Grattan Institute economist Saul Eslake told a roomful of government officials, including prime minister Julia Gillard and treasurer Wayne Swan, that the practice of negative gearing transferred $4.5 billion per year from ordinary tax payers to affluent ones.

Mr Eslake told Smart Property Investment, negative gearing results in a loss of revenue of at least $4.5 billion a year, enabling people who are affluent enough to be able to absorb paying more in interest than they earn in rent, both to defer and to reduce tax.

“If there was clear evidence that this loss of revenue had a beneficial effect in terms of increasing the supply of housing, particularly housing at affordable rents, then it might be a price worth paying,” Mr Eslake said.

“But since more than 90 per cent of negatively geared investors buy established properties rather than new ones, and since despite Australia being one of the few countries in the world which allows negative gearing in the way that we do, rental vacancy rates are much lower than in countries which don’t allow negative gearing,” he said.

“In my view it is impossible to conclude that negative gearing serves any purpose than to allow wealthily affluent tax payers to defer and reduce tax.”

Mr Eslake’s comments, if taken seriously by the federal government, have serious implications for existing and future property investors in Australia.

Many investors rely on the windfalls of negative gearing, the practice that allows investors to write off losses made on rental properties against other income.

The rule was briefly suspended under the Hawke government, but popular beliefs that the measure caused a surge in rents are unfounded, Mr Eslake said.

“If you look at the evidence from the consumer price index from that period, that’s simply not true,” Mr Eslake said.

“Rents did go up in Sydney and PerthPerth, TAS Perth, WA, but that’s because vacancy rates were less than two per cent at that time. In other cities rent inflation either didn’t change or, in Melbourne, went down,” he said.

“If it were true that the abolition of negative gearing would lead to landlords selling their properties on a large scale, and there’s no evidence that they did that in 1986-88 either, then the result would actually be that the price of investment properties would fall, homebuyers would be able to buy them and there wouldn’t be any upward pressure on rental markets, so I don’t think that common assertion has any merit.”

Mr Eslake added that he is supportive of abolishing negative gearing for all investors, not just those who invest in property.

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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!

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When buying property, it’s important to focus on what’s important. Investor Katarina Taurian shares just what exactly is important to her: having the mindset of looking past superficial cosmetic matters and homing in on the structural suitability and potential of a property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Katarina joins host Tim Neary to unpack her entry into the property market and experiences of rentvesting, and how the Smart Property Investment Show was vital  in a number of decisions which she made along the way.

Katarina discusses about the team that she had help her along the way, why she thinks that you should never skimp on a good solicitor and accountant, and the red flags which tell her why buying a new property doesn’t necessarily mean buying a better property.

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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Why buying new property doesn’t mean buying better property
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Media hype would have you believe that the Australian property market is in dire circumstances at the moment and that there is no money to be made.  But is that really the case?

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, regular guests Steve and Victor of Right Property Group join host Phil Tarrant to discuss the current state of the Australian property market as it is portrayed in the media, and analyse if things are as dire as we are being led to believe.

They will compare regional markets with capital cities as investment options, reveal some areas which they consider to be poor investments at the moment while also discussing some of the markets where they see future potential.

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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Surfers Paradise

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Busting perceptions of a doom and gloom property market

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