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Saturday, March 25, 2017
Giving first homebuyers access
to their own money in a
superannuation fund should not
be a controversial idea, according
to the Real Estate Institute of
“One of the biggest hurdles young people have in
buying their first home is saving enough money for
a deposit and the transaction costs. With rising house
prices, the dream of owning a home is becoming
difficult to attain,” Malcolm Gunning, President of the
Real Estate Institute of Australia said.
“Surveys show that not only are aspiring
homebuyers saving for longer but are also using debt
to meet their deposit requirement including personal
loans and credit cards.
“With first homebuyers finding it increasingly
difficult to enter the housing market, home ownership
in Australia is declining after four decades of stable
“Many young people already have a partial deposit,
access to their super would make the difference but
they aren’t allowed to make the decision to access
what is after all their own money until they retire.
“Too much attention has been focused on the
accumulation of a nest egg through superannuation
at the expense of other more practical considerations
which not only improve the quality of life at an earlier
age but result in a greater retirement ‘nest egg’.
“Superannuation and home ownership are both
components of a retiree’s ‘nest egg’ and not competing
By buying earlier in life retirees have every prospect
of having a higher equity on retirement and a larger
‘nest egg’ on downsizing.
“It is nonsense to suggest that early access to
superannuation for a home despot would undermine
retirement savings and create new risks.
“Access to superannuation for the purchase of a
first home could help reverse the trend of falling home
ownership and address the looming social problem
of large numbers of long-term renters aged 45 years
and over remaining in the rental sector and possibly
requiring rental support in later years.
“Accessing Super is not a radical idea. The use
of retirement savings for a first home purchase has
already proven to be successful in Canada, New
Zealand and Singapore.
“It is ironic that superannuation funds that invested
in residential investment property have provided the
best returns for their members over the last 20 years
yet don’t want to see individuals investing in their
superannuation contributions in real estate. What is
the difference between investing in someone else’s
home through your super funded and using your super
contributions to invest in your own home?
“REIA believes in the benefits of continuing the
high ownership level in Australia, particularly as
the population ages, and strongly encourages the
Government to help implement solutions that will
assist aspiring first homebuyers.
“The Government should be applauded for
considering a holistic approach to housing
affordability which includes giving access to
superannuation for first homebuyers,” Mr Gunning
First homebuyers access to super
not a radical idea
Sheree Hensgen is a Member
of the Australian Institute of
Conveyancers (Vic Division),
Licensee No. 000072L
under the Conveyancers
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