Broker association delivers caution for first home buyer super scheme

by Julia Corderoy04 Sep 2015
The FBAA has said that allowing first home buyers to access their super to purchase property would help “enormously” if it is regulated cautiously. 

The CEO of the FBAA, Peter White, says that whilst he acknowledges property as an excellent long-term investment, he is concerned those who use the scheme may not have enough liquidity to retire.

“This is not new; it is happening in New Zealand and Canada but there are different rules regarding how much is compulsory superannuation and also at what age you can access your super,” he said.

“Getting into the property market is a goal for most young people and to get a helping hand through accessing super would help enormously but there might be a cost down the track.”

White’s comments come after a new report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) argued that allowing first home buyers to dip in to their super to buy property will ease the impact of housing affordability issues.

But if superannuation was opened up to first home buyers, White says it would need to be done so with smart regulation. 

“If it came in, I would like to see an age cap where for instance, it is only applicable to those under the age of 30. Furthermore, the scheme could only be available as a once-in-a-lifetime offer,” he said.

According to the FBAA, figures show that an average Australian 30 year-old couple has around 45 to 50 thousand dollars in their super fund, which White says may only be just enough to cover the stamp duty with so many wanting to buy in prime residential areas.

“Let us do all we can to get young people into their first homes, but as finance brokers we have to help direct potential customers towards suitable property options they can afford, and that means sometimes having to purchase in cheaper areas.”
 

COMMENTS

  • by Steve McClure 4/09/2015 9:16:04 AM

    We keep quoting Canada, but they don't have first home buyer grants and the NZ property market is different. We should definitely explore possibilities, but have statistics on amounts of super held and needed by FHB's been examined?

    What about broadening FHOG eligibility but making it repayable on sale, or pro rata capital gain? During a time of budgets deficits, there are a lot of FHB's that have benefited greatly from taxpayers dollars, with no return to that pool of funds to help future FHB's.

    Certainly, an increase in demand leads to even more price rises, and the problem compounds. Therefore, maybe increase supply via "FHB only" properties in conjunction with above. Its not a simple "hit the super" fix.

  • by Thinker 4/09/2015 10:53:34 AM

    "According to the FBAA, figures show that an average Australian 30 year-old couple has around 45 to 50 thousand dollars in their super fund, which White says may only be just enough to cover the stamp duty with so many wanting to buy in prime residential areas."

    Where I come from that stamp duty will cover a purchase of $1.1m and I don't get many FHB's spending that kind of money.

    That said I think it is a great idea - I have said on these pages before that I believe that access to super should be restricted to FHB's up to the age of 30 and only for those building, not buying. That way we don't need to worry about increased housing-supply pressure and by building they are stimulating the economy. That way they are giving back something after receiving FHOG's and stamp duty exemptions etc.

    Also, for those concerned about funds left for retirement, I would say that anyone in work below the age of 30 today should expect to be working until 75 to be of pensionable age. That's 45 years left to pay into super.

  • by Karma 6/09/2015 7:59:45 PM

    Steve McClure is on the right track.