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[av_heading heading=’The News Brief_20200805′ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ subheading_active=’subheading_below’ size=’6vw’ av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’20’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#000000′ margin=’0′ margin_sync=’true’ padding=’0′ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kdglrr5t’ admin_preview_bg=’rgb(34, 34, 34)’][/av_heading]

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[av_heading heading=’More than a third of Australian properties have mortgage repayments that are less than rent’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” color=” custom_font=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kdglshpg’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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As lending rates for housing remains at historic lows, first homebuyers should consider buying instead of renting not due to increased government incentives but rather that owning will be cheaper than renting.

Before the pandemic, CoreLogic data suggested that more than a third of properties across Australia had estimated mortgage repayments that were less than weekly rental repayments.

It was suggested the prospect occurred for just 7 percent of all Sydney properties. These properties were concentrated in suburbs where high levels of unit supply suppressed price growth. About 10 percent of Melbourne properties were also cheaper to own than rent, approximately 20 percent were in this category in regional Queensland. In Darwin, a staggering 77 percent of properties had lower estimated mortgage repayments than rents.

The varied dynamics shown across these cities relates to how property values respond to interest rate reductions as the more the value increases in response to lower mortgage rates, the more the benefits of a low interest rate were eroded.

CoreLogic analyst Eliza Owen noted the data did not take into account the cost of a deposit when saving for a home. It will be interesting when CoreLogic run the data again after considering the impact of falling rentals arising from the pandemic amid the mild reduction in prices.

 

There are also more government incentives, including the decision by the NSW state government under a targeted boost, which will eliminate stamp duty on newly-built homes below $800,000 and reduce it for properties up to $1 million.

ING released a home ownership report last month that reveals almost half of millennials think COVID-19 has made homeownership more achievable.

Mr Ameer has calculated that current lending rates of around 2.19 percent put homebuyers in a far better financial position than if they continue to rent. “To rent a one-bedroom unit in Sydney’s inner west costs around $580 a week. You could buy an identical place for $650,000 and lock-in weekly interest only loan-repayments of $260 a week. That’s a saving of over $14,000 each year, excluding the added benefits of capital appreciation on your property”.
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[av_heading heading=’Victoria stage four restrictions: How COVID lockdown will affect real estate, inspections, auctions’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” color=” custom_font=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kdglu4xc’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Property inspections will only be able to be conducted online under Melbourne’s tough stage four restrictions in a move experts say will essentially grind the market to a halt.

A post on Premier Daniel Andrew’s official Facebook page on Monday night listed “property and real estate” among businesses that will close for at least six weeks from 11.59pm Wednesday, with “online inspections and auctions permitted”. This has been confirmed by a Victorian Government Spokeswoman, noting auctions will also need to shift online in regional Victorian property markets under its stage three lockdown. However, private one-on-one inspections will still be allowed.

In a letter to REIV members sent about midday Tuesday, chief executive Gil King confirmed real estate offices in metropolitan Melbourne would be forced to close. But there was confusion about other restrictions, despite the premier’s social media post.

“We urge you to avoid assuming what will and won’t be allowed until the new directions are published,” Mr King wrote.

The REIV expected to be in discussions with government authorities until “late afternoon on Wednesday”.

REIV president Leah Calnan said it was “highly unlikely we’ll see sales transactions over the six weeks” due to the ban on physical inspections as “purchasers don’t buy properties from virtual tours”.

Ms Calnan said the organisation would push the government to reconsider the tough restriction, particularly in the rental space, as providing shelter should be considered an essential service.

Barry Plant chief executive Mr McCarthy said after conflicting detail was shared by the government in the past 48 hours, “confusion reigns at the moment”. But he expected in-person inspections would be shut down.

“Some sales will be facilitated, where people are just negotiating and have already done inspections,” Mr McCarthy said.

“Others will be determined to buy before lockdown with the hopes of settling afterwards. And there will be some online auctions that will go ahead.

“But I think there will be a broader drop in listings.”

The government had briefly outlawed physical inspections of occupied homes in April, overturning the ban a just a few days later due to an impassioned campaign by Victoria’s real estate industry.

Mr Andrews flagged further real estate announcements on Monday afternoon, noting his government was getting “specific advice” on whether people would be able to settle on property purchases and move house.

“I think the answer will be ‘yes’ if you’ve got a contract, an arrangement in place,” he said.

The construction industry will be allowed to continue operating at a scaled-back level.
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[av_heading heading=’Coronavirus Australia: ‘Not popular’: Call for tax hike’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” color=” custom_font=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kdglzeve’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Former Labor senator Sam Dastyari has called for a 1 per cent tax on all Australians to pay for Victoria’s post-coronavirus recovery. He says the move, similar to Gillard government’s controversial flood levy in the wake of the 2010-11 Queensland floods, would raise around $2 billion.

Mr Dastyari told 2GB’s Ben Fordham if “we’re all in this together” Victoria would need “a really big bailout”.

 

“If we’re going to treat this the way we treat flood or other disasters we’ve got to get serious about putting a levy on and that means everyone else is going to have to foot the bill. It’s not popular, it’s not a loved idea, but it’s the reality … it’s all we can do.”

The Gillard government’s flood levy added an additional 0.5 per cent tax for those earning between $50,000 and $100,000, while those earning over $100,000 were hit with an additional 1 percent.
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[av_heading heading=’Developer tax cut good news for renters’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” color=” custom_font=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kdgm0ndt’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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Renters will be given more security for long leases and more choice under a new government scheme designed to increase the number of properties on the market.

Developers planning to “build to rent” will have 50 per cent slashed off their land tax until 2040 in a bid to encourage the practice, which has taken off overseas.

The tax cut is similar to what developers who are building to sell receive, but the government hopes this new scheme will provide more housing options, greater surety for long-term renters, boost construction and support jobs during the COVID-19 recovery.

Under the new program, those who develop land for the purpose of renting out the homes will be eligible for the same tax breaks as those developing to sell.

NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet said that the government is hoping that market for these projects will grow under the more favourable conditions.

“Renters benefit through greater choice and because the focus is placed on them, rather than just geared towards property owners, it has an added benefit of encouraging better quality rental properties and much longer-term leases,” he said.

“This will provide further confidence, boost the housing construction industry, create more options for investors and builders of developments and ultimately more housing options and security for tenants.”

To be eligible, construction must not have begun before July 1, 2020, and the projects must provide purpose-built rental units, be managed under unified ownership and include options for longer leases.

The program, which also includes an exemption from foreign investor surcharges, will be in place until 2040, and full eligibility criteria will be announced in the coming weeks.

There will also be a new Housing Diversity State Environmental Planning Policy, which will include development standards for build-to-rent developments.

Planning Minister Rob Stokes expects the change will also help support investment affordable and social housing.

“Build‑to‑rent provides a more direct route for investment in housing diversity, and provides the certainty needed to build in uncertain times.”
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[av_heading heading=’APESB guidance represents ‘significant shift’ for SMSF audits, says ATO’ tag=’h1′ style=” subheading_active=” size=” av-medium-font-size-title=” av-small-font-size-title=” av-mini-font-size-title=” subheading_size=’15’ av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” color=” custom_font=” margin=” margin_sync=’true’ padding=’10’ link=’manually,http://’ link_target=” id=” custom_class=” av_uid=’av-kdgm0ndt’ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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The Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) have recently published a new Independence guide which shows changes to the restructured APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, the guide clearly states that an SMSF auditor cannot audit an SMSF where the auditor or those that are related to them have previously prepared financial statements for the SMSF unless it is a routine or mechanical service.

The ATO has previously released some initial commentary regarding the guidance in June where they stated they would contact audit firms where ATO data indicates an auditor is auditing financial statements prepared by the same firm to ensure that they are aware of the new requirements.

ATO assistant commissioner, Steve Keating said the position taken in the independence standards “represents a really significant change” to the traditional accepted model. During an online discussion with Smarter SMSF Mr Keating has said that “Many firms who do prepare the auditing and accounting will cite that they have sufficient infrastructure and controls in place that provide them with the ability to separate the two functions and still be independent of each other. Well, the new standard is clear that that is not considered to be permissible any longer,”

Mr Keating said the ATO is currently taking an educative approach and will release further clarification on what constitutes a routine or mechanical audit. Although he has stated that “the view is that very few SMSF audits would be considered routine or mechanical. Until the end of the next financial year, Mr Keating has said there will be a transitional period for the SMSF industry where the ATO recognises a “significant shift in many organisations”.

ASF Audits executive general manager, Shelly Banton said there are some in the SMSF industry who believe that the concept of routine and mechanical is open to interpretation and creates a new grey area for SMSF practitioners.
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Sources: accountantsdaily, news.com.au and realestate.com.au
Disclaimer: This is general information only and is subject to change at any time. Your complete financial situation will need to be assessed before acceptance of any proposal or product. The Content provided herein has been prepared for informational purposes only. The Content does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied upon as such. You should seek tax, legal or accounting advice before acting or relying on any Content.

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