Accessing super is most polarising of housing affordability options

Allowing first home buyers to access their superannuation is the most polarising housing affordability option, according to a recent poll.

The most recent Essential poll found that ‘allowing first home buyers to withdraw a portion of their superannuation for a house deposit’ had support from 44% of those polled and was opposed by 30%, with 9% answering ‘don’t know’. 14% of people strongly supported and 14% strongly opposed.

First home buyers accessing super had the highest opposition and tied second lowest support of those measures polled. Though no proposal had more opposition than support. ‘Increasing restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing existing residential property’ had the highest support – 74%, with 6% opposed. It also had the highest ‘strong support’ by far, at 51%.

‘Remove negative gearing tax concessions for property investors’ had 43% support and 23% opposition – the second highest proportion opposed to a measure.

Other options polled were:

  • Providing tax incentives for older residents to sell their family home and ‘downsize’ – 56% support, 11% oppose
  • Make more land on city fringes available for housing development – 53% support, 14% oppose
  • A ban on ‘interest only’ loans for property investors – 44% support, 17% oppose

Some similar measures were included in the 2016 Budget, including allowing first home buyers to save using super and letting people aged 65 and over who downsize to make extra super contributions – from 1 July 2018.

The Government has been touting its First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS), which is meant to apply to contributions from 1 July 2017, though the legislation has not been introduced to Parliament. There is also doubt that the measure would pass, with the Labor party already opposed.

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