First home super saver scheme

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On 9 May 2017, the Government announced that from 1 July 2018 individuals will be able to apply to withdraw voluntary contributions made to super after 1 July 2017 for a first home deposit.

Voluntary contributions include:

   Undeducted (non-concessional) personal contributions

  Deducted (concessional) personal contributions

–  Salary sacrifice contributions.

Up to $15,000 of voluntary contributions made in a financial year count towards the amount that can be released.  The maximum amount that can be released is $30,000 of personal contributions plus an associated deemed earnings amount.  Concessional contributions and earnings that are withdrawn will be taxed at marginal rates less a 30 per cent offset.

First home buyers: Stamp duty cuts for houses worth up to $800,000

FIRST home buyers in NSW will no longer have to pay stamp duty on both new and existing homes worth up to $650,000, with discounts also applying to properties worth up to $800,000. A great outcome for first home buyers.

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The NSW Government has announced a comprehensive package of measures to support first homebuyers by providing stamp duty exemptions, boosting housing supply and delivering infrastructure to support growing communities across the State. the measures include:


–   Abolish stamp duty on all homes up to $650,000


–   Provide a $10,000 grant for builders of new homes up to $750,000 and purchasers of new homes up to $600,000


–  Abolishing the stamp duty charged on lenders’ mortgage insurance, which is often required by banks to lend to first homebuyers with limited deposits, providing a saving of around $2,900 on an $800,000 property


–   Doubling the foreign investor surcharge from 4% to 8% on stamp duty and 0.75% to 2% on land tax


–   Removing stamp duty concessions for investors purchasing off the plan


–   Committing $3bn in infrastructure funding from Government, councils and developers to accelerate the delivery of new housing


–   Fast-track approvals for well-designed terraces, townhouses, manor homes and dual occupancy by expanding complying development to include these dwelling types


–   Measures to maintain the local character of communities



*Total of stamp duty exemptions plus first home owners grant plus savings from LMI duty abolition (Genworth LMI Premium Estimator based on a first home buyer with a $50,000 deposit).**Does not include additional land tax surcharge.


RBA outlook

In Australia, the minutes from the RBA’s last Board meeting confirmed that the door is wide open for another rate cut at its August 2 meeting. While not as direct as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the RBA indicated that it was waiting on further information on inflation, the labour market and the housing market and the next update of the RBA’s economic forecasts. Since it has described the labour market and the housing market as “mixed” and recent data on both suggest no reason to change that assessment, the implication from the RBA is that should we see another low inflation reading when the June quarter CPI numbers are released on Wednesday then it’s likely that the RBA will cut the cash rate from 1.75% to 1.5% on August 2. A CPI outcome of 0.4% quarter on quarter for headline and underlying – which is what we expect – would likely be enough to see the RBA cut again.

Stop paying ATM fee’s

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) signage in Sydney, Wednesday, June 9, 2014. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

Commonwealth Bank (CBA) signage in Sydney, Wednesday, June 9, 2014. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

It amazes me after reading the article from the SBS that Australians are still paying over half a billion dollars a year in ATM fees.


Why would you pay for ATM fees when ING offer the ability to use any ATM in Australia for free (any bank, anywhere) when you deposit your pay of $1,000+ each month into there Orange Everyday account.

Retrospective negative gearing changes ‘blatantly inequitable’

The political commentary regarding retrospective changes to negative gearing is concerning, the head of tax at an international accounting firm has warned.


BDO tax partner Eddie Chung says wind back negative gearing benefits on a retrospective basis penalises hard-working Australians for being financially responsible.


“People make medium to long term economic decisions based on the law at the time, and while some may argue the environment has changed to warrant the wind back of negative gearing benefits, doing so retrospectively and applying it to people who have already bought properties on which negative gearing benefits are claimed would be tantamount to penalising them for planning ahead and being financial responsible,” Chung said.


“These people should not be penalised for choosing an option that would make themselves financially self-sufficient, rather than having to rely on the Government for assistance when they retire.”


In fact, Chung claims it is “blatantly inequitable” and could destabilise the economy.


“It could undermine the stability of the economic environment, which may have a far reaching impact on market confidence and therefore the stability of the economy.


“It is akin to telling people who have been saving for years through their superannuation funds the environment has now changed and the Government will seize all superannuation benefits to balance the budget.


“You simply don’t tinker with people’s medium to long term plans because these plans need political and economic certainty to achieve their intended outcome, which underwrites the economic future of this country.


“Even if negative gearing changes are to be entertained, allowing these changes to apply retrospectively must not be an option.”



Retrospective negative gearing changes ‘blatantly inequitable’ . 2016. Retrospective negative gearing changes ‘blatantly inequitable’ . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 29 February 2016].

Demand for property still strong, says report

The property market is still alive and well, the results of a new report by a non-major lender has revealed.


ME’s latest Property Buying Intentions Report indicates demand for residential property may remain strong over the next 12 months despite prudential changes and tightening of lending criteria for some home buyers.


The report shows a big jump in demand for property by owner occupiers potentially offsetting falling demand by investors, while buyers continue to outnumber sellers.


According to the Report, among those actively looking to buy property in 2016 in the six months to December 2015, there was a 5 point increase to 50% in the proportion looking to buy a home to live in. This offset a 5 point fall to 33% in the proportion looking to buy an investment property over the same period.


The report also revealed that buyers continue to outnumber sellers by more than two-to-one.


ME treasurer, John Caelli, said these findings indicate property demand pressures from buyers are likely to remain strong over the next 12 months.


“While recent tightening in bank prudential regulations and lending criteria have reduced the proportion of investor buyers, overall demand for property may remain strong due to increased demand by owner occupier buyers,” he said.


“Demand expectations from buyers may also remain strong due to unmet demand from owner occupiers supported by continued low borrowing costs and recent improvements in the labour market.”


The report also found that 25% of Gen Y intends to buy an owner occupied property in the next 12 months, the most of any age group. Similarly, 8% of Gen X intends to buy an investment property in the next 12 months, the most of any age group.




“Demand for property still strong, says report . 2016. Demand for property still strong, says report . [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 26 January 2016].”