IF YOU aren’t on the property ladder by 35 then you could be paying off your mortage with your superannuation, a property expert has warned.
The stark statement comes as figures show the wealth gap between generations is widening with home ownership among young Australians falling to the lowest level on record.
Startling Grattan Institute statistics show wealthy people aged 55-64 are the only group which has seen its home ownership rates increase over 30 years.
The biggest falls in ownership have been suffered by the young people aged 25-34, who saw their home ownership rate drop by more than 30 per cent from 1981 until 2011. Only 45 per cent of them own their own homes.
This is down 16 per cent from the 1980s, with almost half the decline coming in the past decade.
And, if the government doesn’t do something to help younger people own homes, there will be “stark differences” between the “haves and have-nots” in the near future, warns a leading housing policy expert.
The alarming findings come after Sydney held its title as the second-costliest housing market in the world, in this year’s Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.
Research by Finder.com.au shows that even Sydney’s ‘bargain’ suburbs that were $500,000 or cheaper in 2012 have nearly doubled in value in the past five years.
While Melbourne, ranked the world’s most liveable city the past seven years by the Economist Intelligence Unit, is now the planet’s sixth-most expensive place to buy a house.
Brendan Coates, a housing policy expert at the Grattan Institute, said the issue of young people being locked out of the property ladder is one which will take at least two decades to fix.
“Reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax, which have added fuel to the fire, would be a good start but it would only lower prices by about two per cent.
“It’s not about how many homes we build this year or next year. We would need to see at least a decade of sustained home building to make a big difference.
“If Australians are not on the property ladder by the time they are 35, then it is unlikely that they will own their home outright,” he said.
“This means that more and more people will start to use their superannuation to pay off their debts. This is worrying because, over time, the differences between the haves and have-nots will be stark.”
He added soaring property prices are a major factor behind the rapidly growing wealth of older Australians.
“Households headed by 65-74-year-olds were on average $500,000 wealthier in 2015-16 than households in the same age group 12 years ago,” he added.
According to the ABS, house prices grew by 37 per cent on average across all the capital cities between 2003-04 and 2015-16 and by more than 50 per cent in Melbourne alone.
However, Paul Dales, chief Australian economist at Capital Economics said the age gap in home ownership is not all bad news for the Aussie economy.
“There are a lot of social issues which come out of young people not being able to afford their own homes, but for the economy – there’s not one clear answer to say whether it’s good or bad.
“One one hand, young people are spending so much of their income on mortgage repayments or on rent that they have far less money on other things.
“More money going on servicing a mortgage means there is less to spend elsewhere, dragging on economic growth.
“But, there are some offsets to this. The older homeowners have seen their family homes have soared in value and, as a result, they have more wealth to spend on other things.
“We also see a lot of young people living with their parents so they can save for a deposit for a home, and they are put off by renting because it is so expensive.
“This means their income is not being swallowed up by rent, so this can also have a positive effect on the economy.”
Some of the falls in home ownership are also partly the result of social changes Australians are waiting until later in
life before starting work, forming long-term partnerships, and having children, Mr Coates said.
“But most Australians still want to own a home, so it is reasonable to conclude that higher property prices are the biggest cause of lower ownership rates,” he said.
A Grattan spokesman said the only way young people can afford to buy a house is with help from “the bank of mum and dad”.
“Inheritances tend to transmit wealth to children who are already well-off, and home ownership is more likely among those who receive an inheritance, and more likely still among those who receive larger inheritances,” he said.
“Australia is becoming wealthier, but much of the increase is concentrated in the hands of older generations. The trend is unmistakeable: unless something changes, the young will fall further behind and inequality will get worse.”
Originally Published: brisbaneinvestor.com.au
Negative gearing changes will affect us all, mostly for the better
Don’t have a negatively geared investment property? You’re in good company.
Despite all the talk about negatively geared nurses and property baron police officers, 90 per cent of taxpayers do not use it.
But federal Labor’s policy will still affect you through changes in the housing market and the budget. Here’s what you should know.
Labor’s negative gearing policy will prevent investors from writing off the losses from their property investments against the tax they pay on their wages. This will affect investors buying properties where the rent isn’t enough to cover the cost of operating the property, including any interest payments on the investment loan.
Doesn’t sound like a good investment? Exactly right: negatively gearing a property only makes sense as an investment strategy if you expect that the house will rise significantly in value so you’ll make a decent capital gain when you sell.
The negatively geared investor gets a good deal on tax – they write off their losses in full as they occur but they are only taxed on 50 per cent of their gains when they sell.
Labor’s policy makes the tax deal a little less sweet – losses can only be written off against other investment income, including the proceeds from the property when it is sold. And investors will pay tax on 75 per cent of their gains, at their marginal tax rate.
Future property speculators are unlikely to be popping the champagne corks for Labor’s plan. But other Australians should know that there are a lot of potential upsides from winding back these concessions.
Limiting negative gearing and reducing the capital gains tax discount will substantially boost the budget bottom line. The independent Parliamentary Budget Office estimates Labor’s policy will raise about $32.1 billion over a decade.
Ultimately, the winners from the change are the 89 per cent of nurses, 87 per cent of teachers and all the other hard-working taxpayers who don’t negatively gear. Winding back tax concessions that do not have a strong economic justification means the government can reduce other taxes, provide more services or improve the budget bottom line.
Labor’s plan will reduce house prices, a little. By reducing investor tax breaks, it will reduce investor demand for existing houses.
Assuming the value of the $6.6 trillion property market falls by the entire value of the future stream of tax benefits, there would be price falls in the range of 1 per cent to 2 per cent. Any reduction in competition from investors is a win for first home buyers.
Existing home-owners may be less pleased, especially in light of recent price falls in Sydney and Melbourne. But if they bought their house more than a couple of years ago, chances are they are still comfortably ahead.
And renters need not fear Labor’s policy. Fewer investors does mean fewer rental properties, but those properties don’t disappear – home buyers move in, and so there are also fewer renters.
Negative gearing would affect rents only if it reduced new housing supply. Any effects will be small: around 90 per cent of investment lending is for existing housing, and Labor’s policy leaves in place negative gearing tax write-offs for new homes.
All Australians will benefit from greater stability in the housing market from the proposed change. The existing tax breaks magnify volatility. Negative gearing is most attractive as a tax minimisation strategy when asset prices are rising strongly. So in boom times it feeds investor demand for housing. The opposite is true when prices are stable or falling.
The Reserve Bank, the Productivity Commission and the Murray financial system inquiry have all raised concerns about the effects of the current tax arrangements on financial stability.
Negative gearing would affect rents only if it reduced new housing supply.
And for those worried about equity? Negative gearing and capital gains are both skewed towards the better off. Almost 70 per cent of capital gains accrue to those with taxable incomes of more than $130,000, putting them in the top 10 per cent of income earners.
For negative gearing, 38 per cent of the tax benefits flow to this group. But people who negatively gear have lower taxable incomes because they are negatively gearing. If we look at people’s taxable incomes before rental deductions, the top 10 per cent of income earners receive almost 50 per cent of the tax benefit from negative gearing.
So you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that the share of anaesthetists negatively gearing is almost triple that for nurses, and the average tax benefits they receive are around 11 times higher.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says aspirational voters should fear Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing and the capital gains tax.
But for those of us who aspire to a better budget bottom line, a more stable housing market and better opportunities for first home buyers, the policies have plenty to find favour.
Revealed: The top 10 suburbs to buy a bargain home and reap long-term capital growth returns – but experts warn there’s a catch
The top 10 suburbs for buying a bargain home have been revealed.
The top two on the list were Norlane and Lovely Banks, two northern suburbs in Geelong, Victoria, while the remaining eight all come from Queensland.
Hollywell in the Gold Coast was named as the best Queensland suburb for an affordable home with long-term capital gain, according to property researcher RiskWise.
The Gold Coast suburb, located 70km south of Brisbane’s CBD, is close to shopping centres, good schools and the beach.
Experts have warned buyers not to confuse a ‘bargain’ property with a ‘cheap’ one.
The coastal suburb also has many older properties which will have plenty of potential after renovation, according to realestate.com.au.
It has a median house price of $786,614, according to property data researcher CoreLogic.
Mount Ommaney, Sinnamon Park and Gordon Park in Brisbane also make the list, followed by Gaven on the Gold Coast and Doonan in the Sunshine Coast.
Mount Ommaney, an outer suburb located 14 kilometres south-west of Brisbane’s CBD, has a median house price of $852,729.
Sinnamon Park, also located south-west of the Brisbane CBD, has a slightly lower median house price of $747,272.
RiskWise’s list ends with Gordon Park, Stafford Heights and Twin Waters in Queensland.
All the suburbs listed had a median house price of $300,000 to $870,000, with Norlane having the lowest price at $370,931 and Doonan with the highest at $871,189.
RiskWise chief executive Doron Peleg warns the public that a ‘bargain’ house does not necessarily mean buying a ‘cheap’ one.
RiskWise listed down suburbs where capital growth was expected to increase steadily over the years.
‘It’s more about knowing where to buy for long-term capital gain,’ Mr Peleg said.
‘Sure, there are a lot of well-priced houses out there, but if they are not expected to grow in value down the track, then they really aren’t the best buy.
‘These (Queensland) suburbs, which all enjoyed capital growth of 13 per cent of the past 12 months, are expected to continue to do well as they have a number of things going for them.
‘For starters, they are relatively affordable and all within 100km of Brisbane which means, provided there is a good public transport and road infrastructure, commuting to work is not too much of an issue’.
Property Experts Reveal Surprising Areas Investors Are Snapping Up
We all know Sydney’s property market has taken hit after hit recently — but there are other lesser-known areas that are experiencing a sudden property boom.
That’s according to Australian real estate experts, who claim that while investors may have deserted Sydney and Melbourne, their attention has turned to other regions across the country.
According to Daniel Walsh of investment buyer’s agency Your Property Your Wealth, investment activity has now firmly shifted to Queensland.
“Net migration has now overtaken Melbourne due to the affordability that Brisbane has to offer,” he explained.
“We’re also seeing rising demand particularly in the housing sector in southeast Queensland where yields are high and jobs are increasing due to the amount of government expenditure around infrastructure which is attracting families to the Sunshine State.
“With Brisbane’s population growth at 1.6 per cent and surrounding areas like Moreton Bay at 2.2 per cent, the Sunshine Coast at 2.7 per cent and Ipswich at 3.7 per cent, we are forecasting that Brisbane will be the standout performer over the next three to five years.”
Realestate.com.au chief economist Nerida Conisbee agreed, saying Sydney investors especially had started to turn their attention north.
“Interest is strong in the Gold Coast across the board although there’s more action on the south side in places like Tugun and Burleigh Heads,” she said, adding there was also a notable trend towards Tasmania, Adelaide and pockets of NSW.
“In Tasmania, most activity is definitely taking place in Hobart, but it has shifted — a lot of the action was in the inner city, but it’s now happening in the middle and outer ring suburbs, as well as in Launceston.
“Tweed Heads and Byron Bay (in NSW) have also had strong price growth at the moment,” she said, adding that in Sydney, trendy inner-city suburbs like Paddington, the premium end of town and areas like Winston Hills in the city’s west were defying the downward trend.
Ms Conisbee said long-neglected Adelaide was also finally booming after recently hitting the highest median house price ever recorded, largely driven by jobs and economic growth off the back of defence contracts, the announcement of the new Australian Space Agency and other investment in the area.
“Inner Adelaide, beachside and the Adelaide Hills tend to have the most activity but there’s also quite a lot of rental demand in low-cost suburbs so we’re expecting to see a bit more investment there in those really cheap suburbs over the next 12 months,” she said.
“There you can get houses for $250,000 so for an investor, it’s a relatively low cost in terms of outlay and the area is seeing really strong rental demand which means you’re more than likely to get tenants, so for investors it’s a really attractive area.”
Mr Walsh said Sydney still remained a solid investment option in the long term — but stressed it was just not the right time to buy in the city due to its market cycle as well as lending constraints.
“While property prices in Sydney have softened by about 9 per cent this year, they are still high, which means it’s not an affordable option for many investors,” he said, noting the city’s high buy-in prices coupled with relatively low rents made the yields quite unattractive.
“At this point in time, the high costs of entry as well as holding costs make it a location that should be avoided — but not forever,” he said.
“The thing is, Sydney is still Sydney, which means that it will always be in demand.
“Its population is forecast to grow by some three million people in the decades ahead, plus it remains our nation’s economic engine room.”
He said the entire NSW economy remained “robust” with unemployment falling to 4.4 per cent last year, with Sydney’s major infrastructure program also proving there was “much to be positive about” in Sydney.
“Sydney homeowners and investors who bought a number of years ago are still well ahead because they chose the optimal time to buy and they remain focused on the future,” he said, adding the optimal time to re-enter the market probably wouldn’t be for at least another year or two.
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