REIA urges government to allow FHBs to dip into superannuation for a home

The Real Estate Institute of Australia’s (REIA) proposals to the 2014/2015 Federal Budget are urging for capital gains tax not to be increased, for an annual review of first home owners grants and for first home buyers to be able to use a portion of their superannuation for a home.

The president of the REIA, Peter Bushby, said that they had 10 proposals for the budget that are aimed at continuing development and productivity.

“We want to see a marked improvement in the standards of delivery of vocational education and adequate data on the supply/demand imbalance of housing for informed decision-making by policy makers and stakeholders,” he said.

Pointing to the ABS latest data’s suggestion that superannuation in 25 to 34 year olds’ accounts sits at an average of $15,000, with $32,000 for 35 to 44 year olds, they noted that allowing buyers to access this would assist with a deposit.

“That proportion could be either a fixed percentage of the total or their voluntary payments over and above the super guarantee contribution. Superannuation and home ownership are both components of a retiree’s “nest egg” and not competing products. By buying earlier in life retirees have every prospect of having a higher equity on retirement and a larger “nest egg” on downsizing,” the submission says.

They said it would assist to reverse the declining trend of home ownership, and that it has been successful in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.

Property Observer recently took the Canadian first home buyer concept to the experts to ask whether this could really be a solution. You can see their responses here.

They seek the consideration from the government on the following:

• Ensure the availability of reliable data on housing demand and supply to formulate appropriate policies and to monitor their effectiveness

• All states and territories uphold the initial intent of the Intergovernmental Agreement in Federal Financial Relations Schedule A, that assistance to first home buyers will be “uniform” and that “an eligible home will be new or established”

• Review the amount of the First Home Owner Grant annually to maintain relativity with house price movements

• Allow first home buyers access to their superannuation for the purchase of a home

• Retention of current arrangements for negative gearing of property investments

• No increase in Capital Gains Tax on property investments

• Abolish stamp duty on property transactions in favour of an efficient source of revenue for states and territories

• Improve the supply of housing for social housing tenants transitioning to private rental by utilising private investment

• Monitor HAF and NRAS to observe its effects on housing supply and to conduct a review which considers additional measures to bridge the demand/supply imbalance

• Ensure the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) funding is adequate to ensure nationally approved quality standards are met for vocational education and training.

The submission can be read online in its entirety.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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