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Impacts of Labor’s proposed negative gearing and CGT changes
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Impacts of Labor’s proposed negative gearing and CGT changes

With a federal election expected to be called within the next 12 months, and Labor proposing some controversial reforms to negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, a new report has assessed the risks of taking a blanket approach to their implementation across Australia.

RiskWise Property Research and WargentAdvisory co-authored the Impact Analysis: Negative Gearing, CGT & Australia’s Residential Property Markets report assessing the impacts of the proposed reforms.

RiskWise CEO Doron Peleg said with the federal election looming, government policies and their implications were being thoroughly assessed by policymakers, lenders, fund managers and property developers.

The ALP has proposed reforms to negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount to level the playing field for first home buyers competing with investors, improve housing affordability and strengthen the Commonwealth Budget position through limiting these subsidies.

However, Mr Peleg said one of the most important aspects of the proposed changes was that their blanket introduction across the country would have unintended consequences, and some geographical areas (SA4s), especially those with weak or fragile property markets, would be adversely impacted more than others.

The report identifies the Top 10 SA4s that would be most impacted if the changes went ahead as currently proposed. These include Darwin, Mackay, inner-city Perth and Townsville.

“Another unintended consequence would occur in the Sydney unit market where the proposed changes would be the equivalent to a sudden 1.15% increase in interest rates.”

Report co-author and WargentAdvisory director Pete Wargent said for years property commentators had been talking about a two-speed economy driven by the resources construction boom, but this dynamic had reversed, and those once prosperous areas were now struggling.

“The last thing they need is a further dampening of demand. An introduction of Labor’s proposed changes to negative gearing needs a more nuanced response with some mitigating processes and policies that could be implemented so there are no unintended consequences.”

He identified other impacts of the proposed changes, including declining dwelling prices (or price deceleration in some regions), a reduction in dwelling commencements and deteriorating rental affordability in some locations.

“While there would be some positive initial impacts on housing affordability, these would only be sustained in the largest capital cities if appropriate policies encourage the supply of owner-occupier suitable housing in addition to investment units” he said:

“There will also be distortions in the investor market, with the creation of primary and secondary markets for investor stock if subsidies are limited to new housing prospectively.”

Mr Peleg said from the second half of 2017, the risks associated with the residential property market had increased significantly and the proposed changes needed to be assessed thoroughly across all SA4s to ensure they did not unduly impact weaker housing markets.

“Credit restrictions have had a direct impact on investors in the Australian housing market. As a result, dwelling prices in Sydney and Melbourne showed a decelerating growth rate, followed by price reductions in Sydney and, to a lesser extent, Melbourne,” he said.

“In a relatively short period of time, the landscape for residential property in Australia has changed significantly and this necessitates thorough modelling and impact analysis of Labor’s proposed tax reform package.

“The bottom line is that the proposed reforms will achieve some of the ALP’s stated objectives, including tackling the fiscal challenge and Budget repair, but not the others.

“The Impact Analysis: Negative Gearing, CGT & Australia’s Residential Property Markets report covers our key findings. These are the principles that need to be looked at before any changes are made along with the consequences, and recommendations, if they are applied across Australia.

“As an independent company we wanted to assess the objectives, impacts and key findings when the proposed reforms are not supported by any mitigating measures, and also to add additional information to enable policymakers to take steps to improve housing and rental affordability, which is high on the political agenda.”

Having a Productive Conversation About Getting into Property Early
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Having a Productive Conversation About Getting into Property Early

Onyx CEO Greg Clough writes about his experience of helping his daughter and other young clients get into property early. 

You can understand why many GenYs and Millennials are despondent about buying a home, but in my view their pessimism is misguided, having been fuelled by journalists with limited understanding of how the property and finance markets work.  There are many pathways to home ownership, but most people haven’t been shown all the options.

Have your property with smashed avocado

Writers on this issue typically launch into a discussion on not buying that daily coffee or ordering smashed avocados so you can save for a deposit.  Frankly I think that launching into this approach is simply demotivating for most young people.  While not walking away from the need to budget I think there are more productive conversations about partnerships, entrepreneurship and investment which are going to be a far more empowering.

Conversations with my daughter

Ten years ago I had a conversation with my then early 20s daughter who had a modest income and very little money in the bank.  I explained that if she just walked into her bank branch she would certainly be rejected for a loan, but I outlined a number of alternative ways to go about it.

Now in her mid-30s she has equity in a property thanks to its capital growth over the last ten years.  This will provide a platform for her to buy her family home.  The pathway to property ownership will be different for each person but for her it was to partner up with a cousin who was around the same age.

Beyond inter-generational battles

Contrary to popular journalism the property marketing is not an inter-generational battle but more an opportunity for intergenerational collaboration.  In all honesty, it always has been.  Many of my friends back-in-the-day got a start with a deposit on their home with help from their parents.

For those of us who are parents of 20-somethings we have a role to give them a leg up into property as soon as possible.  This could involve the bank of Mum and Dad but more importantly it will involve encouragement and education.  Remember, as good as our education system might be they still don’t teach the life skills like buying your first home.

Why 20-somethings should buy sooner than later

There are some really good reasons why a 20-something should be interested in buying a property before they or you think they might be ready.

Firstly standing still is going backwards.  Property prices continue to increase – especially in popular locations – so the longer you wait the higher the purchase price becomes.

Doing something in your 20s will set you up for later when your lifestyle is more expensive.  Your 20s provide an opportunity to build equity in a property which can be used for a deposit on a future family home.

Buying an investment property is a great option in your 20s.  You can buy to invest wherever is best financially rather than where you want to live.  Rent your lifestyle, or even better stay at home with the parents to keep costs low.

The important thing to remember here is that there isn’t one single property market, there are lots of them.  Buying to invest gives you more choices and remember it’s a logic decision not an emotional one about where you want to live.

So how would you approach an early entry into property?

Well going straight to your bank is probably not going to be the best option.  The home loan market is constantly changing because banks are adjusting to market conditions and their own risk profiles.  This means that today one bank might be offering great deals to investors but next month they might decide they have too many investors want to attract other types of borrowers.  You need to know which lender is offering the best deal to suit your circumstances and that may not be the one your banking with right now.

You don’t need to go it alone.  Partnering with someone else to get into a property is a great option especially before you start having a family.  What one person lacks on their own – say for example a deposit – the other person may be able to cover. These partnerships might be with parents, another family member, a friend or even someone on a purely commercial relationship.

I’ve also seen situations where parents have purchased a property for their adult children to live in and eventually own.  The kids pay the mortgage and the parents provide the deposit and borrowing capability.  Given rising property prices this might be a better form of inheritance.

Importantly if you are entering into a “property relationship” with anyone, getting the right advice before you buy on the ownership structure and an agreed approach to exiting is vitally important to your financial success.

Being entrepreneurial in the property market

These are just a few approaches that you could consider but everyone’s situation is unique and there are many more ways to go about being entrepreneurial in the property market.  I understand that the price tags on property these days in suburban Melbourne and Sydney can be pretty off putting but we also live in a more flexible and fast-moving world that offers many more opportunities for innovative young adults and their parents.

The best place to start is a conversation with a mentor who has plenty of practical on-the-ground experience.  Feel free to call me for a chat anytime on 0409 029922.

Warms Regards

Greg Clough 

 

Interest Only Mortgage Changes: “Forewarned is Forearmed”
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Interest Only Mortgage Changes: “Forewarned is Forearmed”

The phrase “Forewarned is Forearmed” is as relevant today as it was when first used in the late 16th century, especially when it comes to matters of borrowing money.

If you have an interest only mortgage, or you’re intending to obtain one, then consider yourself forewarned. I hope this two-minute read will leave you forearmed and that it motivates you to take action before it’s too late.

So here is the forewarning!

If you choose to re-finance your Interest Only loan and remain on Interest Only it will no longer be a “fait accompli” that your new loan will be automatically approved as Interest Only without a lender’s inquisition.

Not considering refinancing anytime soon? Remember that most Interest Only loans revert to P&I after 5 years unless refinanced. Suddenly you’ll find that your monthly repayment takes a big hike because you’ll now be paying principle as well as the interest.

To clarify my point here is an extract from an industry magazine explaining ANZ’s recent policy change.

As of 5 March 2018, ANZ will regard interest-only (IO) loan renewals as “credit critical events” which require full income verification as part of its measures to streamline the credit critical process.

The requirements are set to apply to loan applications that involve changing from principal and interest (P&I) to IO, or extending an IO term.

Further, if serviceability is not evident, the loan will remain or revert to P&I.

ANZ will update process guides and renewal checklists to include the changes.

Moreover, customers will be notified by ANZ six months prior to the expiry of the IO period, and they will be informed of refinancing options available to them.

The bank noted that it is making the changes to further enhance its lending practices.

“We are making this change as part of our continual enhancements to our lending practices,” the bank said.

“Converting to or extending an interest-only period is a material change to original loan conditions, which could increase the total repayments over the life of the loan.”

Last year, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) imposed restrictions requiring banks to limit interest-only lending to 30 per cent of new loans.

In simple terms this change from ANZ means, and the others will probably follow, that you may need to find more of your hard-earned dollars every month to meet a P&I commitment.

On a positive note, lenders are encouraging P&I loans at the behest of APRA, by offering lower interest rates but even this will not stop the repayment hike you’re facing.

Here is an example to explain based on a $500,000 loan for Owner-Occupied borrowers.

Principal and Interest over 30 years @ 3.69% p.a. $2,299.00 pcm

Interest Only for 5 years @ 4.29% p.a. $1,787.50 pcm

Most Interest Only loans revert to P&I after 5 years unless refinanced.

As you can see even though the rate for P&I is lower the repayment, rather than a payment of interest only is over $500 more per month.

This is not an insignificant amount just for one loan so for borrowers with multiple loans the impact will obviously be even greater.

With the Royal Commission underway there is a strong chance lending policies and guidelines will become even tougher.

So be forearmed.

I strongly suggest you plan well ahead so that you do not receive a nasty shock when you come to refinance your loans.

If you would like us to crunch some numbers for you please call me on 0409 02 99 22 or email greg.clough@onyx.net.au

‘Praemonitus, Praemunitus’

Cheers

Greg

67% of Australians aren’t aware of this!!
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67% of Australians aren’t aware of this!!

I have just read that 67% of Australians are not aware of this important legislation that will affect all borrowers in the future.

Scott Morrison claims it will help borrowers with a positive report get better interest rates. I have a feeling it may work the other way and borrowers with poor credit with be penalised with higher interest rates.

Furthermore, it is imperative that when you are providing information, like we you do with our Fact Find, that you include all of your debts so the information provided to the lender matches your credit report.

This includes all the little Zip Money type accounts and also those G.E. Store Cards even if they are currently interest-free.

Remember you can get a copy of your credit file for free at www.mycreditfile.com.au

Australia moves to comprehensive credit reporting (CCR)

After lagging behind other major developed economies such as the US and the UK for many years, the Federal Government legislated that Australia would finally move to a positive comprehensive credit reporting (CCR) system over the course of this year with final completion mid-way through 2019.

While this is welcome news for consumers and businesses who may want or need to get finance from time to time, the detail about CCR for many people can be hard to grasp.

What is positive comprehensive credit reporting (CCR)?

Quite simply, it means that lenders can use more detailed information on your financial background including your good credit history to work out the benefits and risks in lending money to you.

For example, unlike the current system that focuses on negative details such as payment defaults, court judgements and the number of credit application enquiries which “hurts” your credit profile and sees your credit score go down, positive CCR looks at how good you have been with credit overall.

Credit providers will, in future, be able to see:

  • When a credit account has been opened or closed (the start of an existing or past loan and when it was repaid);
  • The type of credit facility (mortgage, credit card, personal loan, car loan etc) and the available limit;
  • Your last 24 months repayment history.

Together, this information will help credit providers to assess how good a customer or potential customer has been in managing their finances, whether the risk of lending to someone fits their credit criteria and how much and for how long they will lend them money.

For borrowers, it may mean that they will get rewarded for having a good credit history, not be penalised for one or two missed payments if a small glitch happens in their life and allows them to shop around for a better deal that suits them without that being held against them.

And for those consumers who, at the moment, might not be able to get finance because their credit history doesn’t come up to scratch, positive CCR will allow them to improve their financial position over a period of time through better budgeting, repayment and spending decisions.

How will that information be shared and will it be safe and secure?

This data already exists but the vast majority of it is held by the large banks and lenders and is not shared among themselves or smaller financial institutions.

What the Federal Government has announced is that the previous voluntary system which was introduced in March 2014 will now be made mandatory, initially focusing on the big four banks who hold most of this data given their 80% share of the lending market.

The major banks will have to make available half of their credit data for sharing by 1 July this year and increase that to 100% of their information by 1 July 2019.

At present, that sharing figure is less than one per cent.

What does the Government say about positive CCR?

In his announcement the Treasurer said that CCR will give lenders access to more and richer data, encouraging competition between them including new providers to help consumers and small businesses looking for finance. It will also improve the capacity of credit providers to meet their responsible lending obligations as set by the regulators. Those regulations require us to ensure a customer is able to repay their loans based on their income and spending needs.

The Treasurer described the changes as a “game changer for both consumers and lenders, resulting not only in greater lending competition but also better access to finance for Australian households and small businesses”.

 

As always we’re here to help in any way we can so please feel free to call me for a chat at any time 0409 02 99 22 or email greg.clough@onyx.net.au.

Productivity Commission’s Errors a Tragedy for Home Loan Borrowers.
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Productivity Commission’s Errors a Tragedy for Home Loan Borrowers.

I nearly choked on my brekky this morning when I read this article, “Why you can’t get a good deal on your home loan” on news.com.au.

The article has a crack at mortgage brokers using the Australian Government Productivity Commission (AGPC) report into the finance industry released today.  It’s a tragedy for home loan borrowers that AGPC has got critical issues so wrong.

Mortgage Brokers are Licensed

This line really got my hackles up – “Unlike in wealth management, mortgage brokers are not obliged by law to act in the best interests of the customer,”

This is just plain wrong. Mortgage Brokers are licensed by the Government through ASIC and one of the requirements of our license is that brokers “must complete an assessment as to whether a loan is ‘not unsuitable’ for a consumer”. The compliance is very strict.

Furthermore, I would happily line up the performance of mortgage brokers against the wealth management industry.  For 16 years we have provided quality advice to our clients always putting them first.

Banks Taking Advantage of Loyal Customers

I do agree with the statement that banks offer a better deal for new customers rather than established. I’ve been commenting on that for over a year now.  However, the report somehow puts the blame for this on mortgage brokers not doing their job.

The reality is that the clear majority of customers who switch banks do so through a mortgage broker arranging a home loan for them with another lender.

Instead of deriding brokers the AGPC should be encouraging more consumers to talk to a broker.

Why Criticise Choice? 

The report claims there are 4000 different home loans and that somehow this is a bad thing.  Home loan choice combined with professional mortgage broker advice is absolutely the best option for borrowers.

Don’t Forget the Non-Bank Sector 

The article also does not mention the “non-bank lending” sector. We have always been a strong advocate for non-banks. They play a key role in innovation and providing solutions for niche markets that would normally be unable to obtain finance.  Mortgage brokers are the main way borrowers find out about non-bank lenders because they don’t have the marketing spending power of the major banks nor a branch network.

Word of Mouth Speaks Volumes 

Like most brokers, we rely heavily on “word of mouth” referrals so it is in our best interests to deliver the very best outcome for our valued clients and if we don’t they are less likely to refer.  Furthermore creating a win, win environment is what makes the world go around. The commission system used to remunerate brokers only rewards us when we get the job done for the client and for making sure they are happy over the long term.

It’s a Tragedy

I’m surprised and disappointed that Australian Government Productivity Commission, an institution we rely on for knowledgeable advice, could get this so wrong.  If the Government acts on these views, its only going to lead to tragic consequences for home owners and investors. It will also in fact decrease competition as borrower’s access to alternate lenders will be become more difficult.

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) is disappointed by the report saying “The Report’s authors have failed to understand the reasons why consumers engage brokers to act on their behalf“.

 I’d Love to Hear from You

As always if you would like to chat about how we might be able to assist you or if you would like to discuss the content of this article I’m always up for a chat, so please feel free to call me direct on 0409 02 99 22.

 

Stop hating property-owning baby boomers! Homes for all are coming!
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Stop hating property-owning baby boomers! Homes for all are coming!

Great article from Peter Switzer

It looks like it’s capitalism to the rescue and its ability to induce ‘outside the square’ thinking just might reduce the hate session young people have for baby boomers over their dominance of real estate assets.
Over the weekend, smart economics writer, Jessica Irvine, who graces the Fairfax Sunday papers, reminded us how annoying it is that baby boomers hold so much of the property that Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers covet. Some critics even resent that baby boomers live so long and have the temerity to live in their homes — big homes — too long as well!
It’s an intergenerational hate session over the thing that used to force tribes to war over past centuries — land! And the arguments against baby boomers (and even older Australians) have been powered along by the Grattan Institute, which seems to spend a lot of its life telling baby boomers that they’ve had it too good and have been ripping off younger Australians.
How did they do that? Firstly, living too long — damn modern medicine!
Secondly, after being told by Paul Keating in the 1980s that they wouldn’t get the pension, they’d always been promised, if they had too much money and bugger all super, they looked to investment properties to build our wealth quickly.

Thirdly, much higher tax rates encouraged people to use the taxman and tax refunds to bankroll their life as a landlord. This was encouraged by the rise of the media money-men and women, who started to get air time and column inches in media outlets, like yours truly.
These money mentors started explaining the mumbo jumbo of wealth-building that once was only known by a group who used to be called “the wealthy”!
So that’s why baby boomers went into property but two big things have made it such that reasonable people like Jessica admit that the current housing situation makes her blood boil, a bit.
Firstly, governments have slugged huge charges on developers and have put ridiculous restrictions on them, as state governments effectively got out of public housing. Dumb governments have created a housing supply problem, which has pushed prices up for the existing stock. And it has happened while Australia has one of the fastest population growth rates of the Western world. Governments screwing up? No!
Secondly, cool younger people like Jessica don’t want to live in the boondocks too far away from great cafes, entertainment and cool lifestyles, especially when many dumb governments have done precious little to create great, affordable public transport systems.
So that’s the problem and here’s the ‘outside the square’ part-solution and I call it the Manhattanization of our cities.
New York’s Manhattan is a huge paddock of apartment blocks with most New Yorkers being renters. Anyone who watched Seinfeld would know that and there’s enormous competition for apartments when older people die, as a Seinfeld episode showed us.
The Age newspaper today tells us about groups such as Mirvac that are planning to build apartment blocks purely to rent out.
“They’ll be nothing like we’ve seen before, either, with building managers looking after apartments, staff to look after leases and run ‘community’ events, and onsite cafes, shops and work spaces,” Sue Williams tells us.
“There will also be long-term rolling leases with the potential for tenants to transfer to other allied blocks in different areas if their jobs or circumstances change.”
Adam Hirst the GM of Capital Allocation at Mirvac explained why this new style of building is coming.
“It’s a lifestyle choice of millennials, young families and downsizers, and the choice of a growing number of people,” he said.
“There are currently 2.5 million rental homes in Australia and we see that growing in the next few years with purpose-built apartment buildings for the rental market”.
“It’s well-established overseas but, in Australia, it’s a new form of housing and there’s a lot of excitement around it.”
This will become a new asset class that the retirees — those damn baby boomers again! Could invest in but, better still, it should entice our super funds to use their money to bankroll affordable housing, which will return a reliable flow of income.
Ironically, this move could slow down house prices rises in hot inner city locations but could raise prices in sea-change and tree-change areas as weekly, inner-city renters escape to the country on their weekends, like lots of New Yorkers and Europeans do, who have grown used to believing that owning a property in their home cities might be just too hard.
Given the incurable stupidity of the politicians who populate governments, who never seem to come up with solutions to our social problems, thank God capitalism throws up lateral thinkers, who love profit and who can do the fixing our so-called leaders always fail at.
Go capitalism!

Don’t Get Mad… Get Even!
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Don’t Get Mad… Get Even!

Yes, we repriced the back book’, ANZ defends rate hikes!

Please tell us something we don’t know!

The big four banks are fronting the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics to amongst other things try and justify the gouging of their customers by increasing rates on the back-book.

To read a short article written by James Mitchell for The Adviser magazine click here.

Unfortunately I don’t think ANZ chief executive Shane Elliott answers the question adequately, he merely spins his way around the issue.

Industry luminary Steve Weston also weighs in on the matter….

The four major bank CEOs will be before Parliament, and I suspect they will be asked the same questions,” Mr Weston said “If they are found to have misled consumers about their reasons for lifting their back books as is being suggested, they may then be asked what else they have been disingenuous about. This could be a pivotal moment for banking in Australia.”

As you would know, if you read my blog posts, I’ve been pretty vocal and angry with the these opportunistic actions taken by the banks and other lenders who have followed suit.

At least now it is getting some mainstream media.

In the words of Robert F. Kennedy “Don’t get mad, get even!”

How you may well ask?

Well quite simply lenders are providing better rates for new business than that provided to current customers.

So it follows that you get rewarded for making the change rather than being blindly loyal.

If you would like me to do a quick review to see how you can save then please call me on 0409 02 99 22 or email at greg.clough@onyx.net.au.

You may also like to download my ebook Seven Tips to Healthy Finances.

I look forward to chatting with you soon to start the process of putting your hard-earned dollars back into your pocket.

Warm Regards

Greg Clough

Banks Are Under the Pump!
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Banks Are Under the Pump!

The major bank CEO has explained how it was a first mover on mortgage repricing and why it made a decision to hike rates knowing full well that its customers could move to another lender.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott appeared in Canberra on Wednesday (11 October) where he answered questions before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, commonly known as the major bank review.

Committee chair David Coleman MP asked the ANZ boss why the group increased rates for existing loans earlier in the year when APRA’s 30 per cent interest-only cap was for new lending only.

“We run a business,” Mr. Elliott said. “We need to make sure that it is prudent and that we identify risk and price for it appropriately while still providing a good, decent service to our customers.

“We started changing our approach in terms of lending standards, policy and pricing well before APRA put in place its speed limit. In fact, our first changes around interest-only started in April 2016. We made policy changes, we have reduced the amount of time people can have interest-only, and we have reduced the maximum LVR. That was well before [APRA’s speed limit] because we assessed that the risk in that book was changing and that we needed to be mindful of that.”

Mr. Elliott said the first pricing changes the bank made were on 24 March, a week before APRA’s interest-only speed limit came into place.

“Subsequent to the speed limit we came out and reduced rates, we were the first. We reduced rates for people paying principal and interest and we increased others. We did that not knowing what our competitors would do and not knowing what the customer behaviour would be. But we wanted to reward customers who repaid principal, because it is the right thing to do, and we wanted to give them the right signals to move.

“Yes, we repriced the back book but, we also gave price cuts to the back book as well.”

ANZ CFO Graham Hodges added that the bank also introduced its lowest ever fixed-rate at 3.88 per cent for P&I borrowers.

Mr. Coleman argued that it is “disingenuous” for a bank to tell its customers, who are not impacted by APRA’s regulatory action, that the bank has determined that it is good for them to move to P&I.

“First of all, we gave people a four-month notice period,” Mr. Elliott said. “Whether that’s to move with us or a competitor. Also, when people come to us and asked for an interest-only loan, we assess them on the basis that they can afford to pay P&I from day one. We do assess people’s ability to be able to pay the principal.”

Mr. Elliott said the bank modelled the impact of its pricing changes. Asked about the profitability of interest-only loans and the impact of repricing, the chief executive explained that the answer depends on customer behaviour.

“It depends what customers do,” he said, adding that there was an assumption in Mr. Coleman’s question that all customers stay with ANZ and don’t move.

“About 10 per cent of our customers with a home loan choose to leave us and go somewhere else each year. There are a lot of factors.

“We absolutely ran an analysis and looked at the fact that by reducing P&I loans by 5 basis points it would come at a cost. That’s about two thirds of our customers who received the benefit of a rate cut.

“We were first. We did that not knowing what the competition would do and at a risk that a lot of those customers would vote with their feet and go somewhere else, or vote choose the fixed-rate, which is a much lower margin product.”

Interest-only loans currently account for approximately 34 per cent of ANZ’s total mortgage portfolio.

Westpac also faced tough questions from David Coleman in Canberra yesterday. Chief executive Brian Hartzer told the committee that interest-only loans accounted for 50 per cent of the Westpac mortgage book.

[ARTICLE: SOURCED FROM THE ADVISER]

Understand the Rules on Depreciation
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Understand the Rules on Depreciation

It’s not too late to claim depreciation

With the 2016-2017 financial year now over, property investors may assume they have missed their opportunity to organise a tax depreciation schedule and make a depreciation claim.

Research suggests around 80 per cent of property investors simply don’t claim because they are unaware of depreciation, they don’t know the rules or they don’t realise they’re eligible.

Legislation enforced by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) allows investors to claim depreciation deductions on any income producing property for the wear and tear that occurs over time to the building’s structure (capital works deductions) and the plant and equipment assets contained.

Both new and older properties attract depreciation. Although the ATO restricts owners of older residential properties on claiming capital works for buildings in which construction commenced prior to the 15th of September 1987, depreciation of plant and equipment can be claimed for most buildings*. Property owners could also be entitled to claim deductions for any recent renovations or updates made.

A specialist Quantity Surveyor can prepare a tax depreciation schedule at any time of year. This schedule will begin from the property’s settlement date and outline depreciation deductions over the entire depreciable life of that property (forty years).

If an investor has not previously claimed or maximised the depreciation deductions available from their investment property they can go back and amend two previous tax returns.

*Under proposed changes outlined in draft legislation (section 2 of Treasury Laws Amendment Bill 2017), investors who exchange contracts on a second hand residential property after 7:30pm on 9th May 2017 will no longer be able to claim depreciation on plant and equipment assets. Investors who purchased prior to this date and those who purchase a brand new property will still be able to claim depreciation as they were previously. Investors should note that these changes are not yet law, as the legislation still needs to be passed through the senate for confirmation. BMT Tax Depreciation remain in discussion with government around the new changes and will keep our clients informed on the outcome. To learn more visit www.bmtqs.com.au/budget-2017.

Investors who would like more information can contact one of the expert staff at BMT Tax Depreciation on 1300 728 726.

[SOURCE: BMT Tax Depreciation] 
Bradley Beer (B. Con. Mgt, AAIQS, MRICS, AVAA) is the Chief Executive Officer of BMT Tax Depreciation.
Please contact 1300 728 726 or visit www.bmtqs.com.au for an Australia wide service.

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