How property is shaping Australia's wealth

How property is shaping Australia's wealth

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Paul Bennion

The importance of property to personal wealth creation has been highlighted by the latest survey of household wealth produced by CoreLogic RP Data.

This survey shows that residential real estate accounts for more than half of all household wealth in Australia.

In fact, the value of the residential property market is four times larger than the stock market and three times more valuable than superannuation.

These figures underline why so many Australians prefer to invest in property as a way of creating long-term personal wealth.

Residential property investment has proven to be a low-risk form of investment for investors who take a long-term approach to the real estate market.

The size of the residential property market is huge, with stakeholders ranging from mum-and-dad homeowners to investors who own several properties.

This sheer size of the residential property market and its significance to the overall Australian economy means that the government is sensitive to policy settings that might have a negative impact on it, and this gives property investors a great deal of protection.

For example, issues such as abolishing negative gearing have been raised many times in recent years, but the government has been reluctant to make any radical changes to the taxation system related to the property market, because of concerns it may damage the overall economy.

Property investing still allows people to claim generous tax benefits associated with negative gearing as well as depreciation.

The tax benefits associated with tax depreciation can be significant with some clients achieving tax benefits obtained through depreciation equivalent to 60 per cent of the total purchase price of the property. In some cases, these tax benefits can total $300,000 based on a purchase price of $500,000.

Many investors in Australia totally underestimate the number of items that can be depreciated for tax purposes, and this comprehensive list can even include garden gnomes, cubby houses and, if they own an apartment, common areas such as car parking and recreational facilities.

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