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Can super help you get on the property ladder?

Superannuation  |  4/10/2021  |   5 min read

The real estate industry loves drama. You don’t have to go far to read about surging property prices, desperate buyers, and huge windfalls.

As the media is quick to point out, the average house price in Sydney and Melbourne is around $1 million dollars and climbing. That places it beyond the reach of your average Australian family.

But that narrative assumes you’re looking for standalone home in the suburbs with three bedrooms, a yard, and a place to park the car. That might not be the case.

In fact, there’s a significant shift towards more affordable, smaller footprint living in recent years. It offers inner city home ownership for prices closer to $300-400k. Here’s how to get on-board, and how your super can help you save for a deposit. 

Tiny homes and affordable living 

Recent years have seen a movement towards more sustainable, practical living. 

For some people that's meant taking a second look at older, more modest apartments from the 60s and 70s, and how these can be re-imagined for the modern world. 

These transformations have been highlighted by several YouTube channels and dedicated websites.

In the process, they've helped grow a community of likeminded people. All of them celebrating the many ways you can convert small, run-down apartments into affordable homes (at a reasonable price).

These apartments can provide a stepping-stone into the housing market. They might also be good investment. 

According to CoreLogic, Melbourne saw average apartment prices rise 7.3% last financial year. That’s despite the city being in lockdown for much of the year and a ban on overseas travel and students. 

Meanwhile, in Sydney, overall dwelling prices have risen by 20.9% this past year.

Planning for the future

Superannuation, property, and investments are keys to long-term wealth. A modest apartment now means you’re not only saving on rent, you’re also creating a pathway to something bigger down the track, as your lifestyle and needs change. 

The good news is your super can also help. 

The First Home Super Saver Scheme (FHSSS) is designed to help first homebuyers save towards a deposit, and works in conjunction with your existing super fund. It allows you to make additional contributions to your super in order to take advantage of the favourable tax treatment superannuation receives. This money can then be used as part of your deposit.

Note that there are many rules associated with the FHSS including the type of contributions you can make, how much you can contribute, and how much you can withdraw for the deposit. 

So, if you are looking to enter the market, and prices have got you down, it may be time to think about what suits you and your lifestyle. 

In the meantime, a financial planner or accountant can provide advice on how a modest mortgage can fit into your broader finances and also the best ways to save for a deposit, including how your super can help.

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This information is provided for general information only. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and should therefore not be taken as personal advice. You should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it and, if necessary, you should seek professional financial advice. Togethr Trustees Pty Ltd ABN 64 006 964 049, AFSL 246383 ("Togethr") is the trustee of the Equipsuper Superannuation Fund ABN 33 813 823 017 ("Equip" or "The Fund"). Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

Togethr Financial Planning Pty Ltd (“TFP”) (ABN 84 124 491 078, AFSL 455010), trading as Equip Financial Planning, is licensed to provide financial planning services to retail and wholesale clients. TFP is owned by Togethr Holdings Pty Ltd (ABN 11 604 515 791). You can obtain the TFP Financial Services Guide and/or Privacy Statement by contacting our Helpline on 1800 682 626. This is general information only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and therefore should not be taken as personal advice.

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