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%. Read more...

Accessing super wouldn’t help housing affordability: Finance Minister

Accessing superannuation for a home deposit wouldn’t help address the problem of housing affordability, says Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

Cormann, who is a member of the Expenditure Review Committee – which is also known as the ‘razor gang’ – was asked on Sky News about the recent speculation that the upcoming Budget would include some measure allowing first home buyers to access their super.

“Our housing affordability package will be announced as part of the Budget on the second Tuesday in May,” said Cormann, but then criticised the idea. Read more...

Majority opposed to accessing super for housing, even less popular with Coalition voters

Most people are opposed to accessing superannuation for housing, and the idea is even less popular amongst supporters of the Coalition.

Members of the Coalition have been raising the option of first home buyers accessing their super, though the model has apparently gone through several revisions.

50% of those polled thought superannuation should be preserved for retirement, with 38% thinking it should be available for the purchase of a home, according to the latest Essential poll.

However the idea is less popular with Coalition voters, with 58% favouring keeping super for retirement and 34% approving of accessing super to buy a home. It has the lowest support amoungst Greens voters, at 28%, with 60% opposed. Read more...

Here’s how superannuation is already financing homes

The federal government is split on whether first home buyers in Australia should be allowed to use part of their superannuation for home deposits. But what the more strident critics miss is that Australia’s superannuation system already channels a significant proportion of retirement savings into housing. The Conversation

It does this not via the traditional route of people buying a house outright, but rather through an indirect channel, by transforming the household’s compulsorily acquired superannuation equity into mortgages from commercial banks and other financial intermediaries. Read more...

Super industry interested in affordable housing, not first home buyers accessing super

The superannuation and property industries have welcomed the suggestion of increased investment in affordable housing, but not allowing first home buyers to access their super.

Yesterday the Treasurer said, in a speech, that he hoped superannuation funds would invest more in affordable housing. On the same day it was reported that the Government was considering allowing first home buyers to direct superannuation into a special savings account.

Industry Super Australia (ISA) welcomed the suggestion of increased opportunities for super funds to invest in expanded affordable housing stock, but said first home buyers accessing super was “short-sighted and counterproductive”. Read more...

Super funds should invest in affordable housing: Treasurer

The Treasurer Scott Morrison says superannuation funds should invest in affordable housing and the Government is reportedly still considering ways to let first home buyers access superannuation.

“Home ownership is a positive for the Australian economy, our society and the nation’s finances,” said the Treasurer, in a speech to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute.

“If Australians are able to affordably own their own home and achieve housing stability, this can set them and their children up for success and reduce risks of welfare dependence. This is especially true as Australians reach retirement.” Read more...

The latest ideas to use super to buy homes are still bad ideas

Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to use the May budget to ease growing community anxiety about housing affordability. Lots of ideas are being thrown about: the test for the Treasurer is to sort the good from the bad. Reports that the government was again considering using superannuation to help first homebuyers won’t inspire confidence. The Conversation

It’s not the first time a policy like this has been floated within government. While these latest ideas to use super to help first homebuyers are marginally less bad than proposals from 2015, our research shows they still wouldn’t make much difference to housing affordability. Read more...

Keating says it’s reckless to access superannuation for housing

Paul Keating has accused the Liberal Party of trying to destroy superannuation by breaking the preservation rule to allow super to be put towards housing, in an opinion piece published by Fairfax media.

It appears support is growing within the government for superannuation to form part of a housing affordability package to be announced in the Budget, or possibly earlier.

Keating said putting superannuation towards housing would “rob” the young of retirement savings through lost compounding returns while also increasing the price of housing. Read more...

First home buyers accessing super “stupidest idea ever”, says Chris Bowen

Labor Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen says an option being considered by the Government for first home buyers to access superannuation is the “Stupidest. Idea. Ever. 2.0”.

According to reports the Prime Minister is “actively considering” allowing first home buyers have their superannuation take an equity stake in a property they want to buy. Earlier reports had the Government considering allowing first home buyers to withdraw voluntary contributions to put towards a deposit.

“The Government’s latest version of a thought bubble on accessing super for housing is dangerous, increases financial risk, undermines the generation of retirement incomes, and will only serve to bid up house prices,” said Chris Bowen. Read more...

PM “actively considering” letting first home buyers access super

The Prime Minister is, according to reports, “actively considering” allowing first home buyers to use their superannuation to directly invest in their own housing.

The model apparently under consideration is a ‘shared equity’ scheme where the super fund invests in the property of the member, not withdrawing superannuation to fund a deposit.

Malcolm Turnbull has previously called such proposals a “thoroughly bad idea”. Last week Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar left open the possibility that first home buyers would be allowed to access superannuation for housing, provided supply was also increased so it didn’t simply increase prices. Read more...