Let FHBs access superannuation: HIA

by Julia Corderoy12 Mar 2015
Allowing first home buyers to dip into their superannuation to purchase their first property is a good idea, according to a leading housing association.

After the release of the Intergenerational Report last week, Treasurer Joe Hockey has said Australia’s superannuation system needs to be more flexible, including allowing homebuyers to access their superannuation to help buy their first home.

While this proposal has been slammed by some, who argue it would increase pressure on the federal government's aged care budget and could lead to financial stress in retirement, the Housing Industry Association says it is “absolutely a discussion Australian needs to have”.

“There are numerous benefits for first home buyers in accessing their superannuation savings, including bridging the deposit gap, reducing the size of their home loan, reducing the LVR and reducing the cost of LMI,” said HIA Chief Executive Industry Policy and Media Relations, Graham Wolfe. 

According to Wolfe, making it easier for Australians to own a home will actually make them better off in retirement.

“Treasurer Hockey is right to flag the ongoing housing affordability challenges facing first home buyers. As a nation, we need to consider looking at superannuation in a different way. If superannuation is about preparing for retirement, what better way is there of achieving this goal than opening the door to home ownership,” he said.

“Accessing a portion of superannuation savings may be the difference between young families securing their future by starting the journey of home ownership, versus staying on the rental treadmill.”

What do you think? Take our new poll: Should first home buyers be able to access their superannuations for a house deposit?
 

COMMENTS

  • by Mega Broker 12/03/2015 9:26:32 AM

    Great idea and whilst they are at it they should re-vamp the FHOG to allow purchase of existing properties and not just new or build.

    My only restriction to be implemented would be that if property is sold then the original Super funds go back into Super plus a % based on the % profit made on the house from purchase. Also, only one bite at the cherry but you can use the original drawn Super sum to purchase again.

  • by RC 12/03/2015 9:59:49 AM

    It is quite probable & realistic to allow FHB access their Super assets to buy their first Home. There is no reason why the funds borrowed fom the Super Account cannot be repaid as a seperate account for the purpose of repaying back these funds into the Super account say when that person sells or discharges that Mortgage Facility or refinances to another Lender. I am being totally simplistic here,but with a bit of thought a well structured approach of an account could be designed or offered. One main concern I can see with most thoughts on this concept of accessing your Super Is the possible issue with future concerns whether that money could be eaten up in a divorce settlement or a business venture gone wrong, or whatever. the approach would be to insure that any funds utilised from a Members Super account into a loan facility be held as a seperate entity & retuned as such. Come on you Economic Guru's out there, there must be some free Thinker still left in Australia in our current Government hat has the ability to structure this. Realistically this is an incentive for ALL young Australian's to have a reason to contribute additional funds to Super above the standard 9.5% Compulsary by Employers. Maybe our Government offers additional incentives or the Super Fund Provider attaches an additional account facility under the Members Super account that is purely for the purpose using to fund a home. Have been a FP for 30 + yrs & a Mortgage Broker for 13 yrs.
    If I can formulate or offer possibilities on doing something surely an expert can?

  • by Concerned 12/03/2015 10:38:04 AM

    I agree with both RC and Mega broker to a certain extent however my concerns also are around the potential loss of the Super funds due to divorce, separation, poor property selection. I like the idea that it must be returned to the super fund but how does one track this and over what time frame? Perhaps a percentage of the loan repayment or the principle in the first instance could be paid back into the super instead of the property until it's replaced? With the current structure at least we know it's tucked away for a long time and there will be something left at retirement age for our children. Yes, more discussion before rash decisions are made should happen, but the super amount taken should be replaced somehow.