Major real estate association backs first home buyer access to super

by Julia Corderoy03 Sep 2015
A leading real estate association has added its voice to the support backing an economic report which argues that first home buyers should be able to access their superannuation to purchase property.

The president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, Neville Sanders, has welcomed the report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) which examines the economic impacts of Australia's ageing population and decreasing housing affordability.

“The report makes a number of recommendations that are aimed at ensuring a prosperous and dignified retirement for all Australians and calls on government to recognise the role of housing in contributing to a decent retirement,” he said.

“One of the ways that can contribute to this is to allow first home buyers access to their superannuation funds to purchase owner-occupied housing. This is something that REIA has long advocated.”

According to Sanders, it needs to be recognised that superannuation and home ownership are both components of a retiree’s nest egg and not competing products.

“By buying earlier in life retirees have every prospect of having a higher equity on retirement and a larger nest egg on downsizing. 

“The CEDA report details that for more than 30 years, there have been significant reductions in home ownership rates among successive cohorts of younger households with consequences in their retirement.

“Providing first home buyers with access to superannuation will help reverse the trend of falling home ownership and address the looming large policy problem of large numbers of long-term renters approaching retirement.

“Using retirement savings towards buying a home has already proven to be successful in Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.”

Sanders joins the voice of Mortgage Choice CEO John Flavell, who also publicly backed CEDA’s recommendations to allow first home buyers to access their superannuation to purchase property.