Debbie Shankar - 9 Jun, 2015

The Federal Budget and Housing Affordability

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With the 2015 federal Budget announcement last month, there are a number of introductions to the Federal Budget that will have an impact on Australian housing. Only time will tell if these introductions have a positive or negative outcome.

Foreign Investment

While there was no mention of first home buying schemes in the Federal Budget, an application fee will be introduced to curb foreign investors buying residential property. This fee will be $5,000 for property up to $1 million and $10,000 for properties over $1 million and up to $2 million. A $10,000 fee will then apply to each $1 million of property value over $2 million. For instance, a $4 million property will incur a $40,000 fee if purchased by a foreign investor. It is hoped this policy may help to stabilise the Sydney and Melbourne property markets.

Small Business Tax Breaks

The decrease in business tax from 30 percent to 28.5 percent for corporate business with a turnover under $2 million in the Federal Budget may enable business to grow and expand so that future jobs can be created. This, in turn, should ease household budget pressure and the burden of mortgage repayments. Unincorporated business will get a tax discount of 5 percent up to the value of $1,000. Small businesses will also be able to deduct new assets of up to $20,000 from their tax immediately.

Negative Gearing

For investors the news that the government have decided to keep negative gearing tax allowances in place was welcomed. Without this tax incentive, thousands of Australians wouldn’t benefit from owning an investment property. This could then put greater pressure on the government to supply affordable housing for the growing Australian population.

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