by Marshall Cobb - Principal
There was something for everyone in the Budget this week. Here are some of the key features that affect real estate...
First-home buyers will be allowed to salary sacrifice up to $15,000 a year (to a total of $30,000) into their superannuation account at a concessional tax rate, and withdraw it to use as a deposit on their first home.
Downsizers over 65 will be able to make a post-tax contribution to superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling their home, even if they are already above the cap of $1.6m.
Investors can no longer claim tax deductions for travel expenses to inspect, maintain or collect rent, and depreciation can now only be claimed on items personally purchased for an investment property, not on plant and equipment that was included with the purchase.
Foreign buyers lose the CGT exemption on the sale of their main residence, and must report all sales over $750,000 to the ATO (previously $2,000,000) or have a withholding tax applied upon sale. There is a new 'ghost house' tax of $5,000 pa for properties left untenanted for more than 6 months a year, and foreign buyers cannot purchase more than 50% of any new development.
All in all we feel that these are fair and appropriate measures.