In money news that affects your hip pocket.
What’s happening the property market?
First home buyers are continuing to drop out of the New South Wales market with the smallest number of loans approved ever, during September.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show just 1284 loans were approved for NSW first home buyers in September, the lowest since 1991.
It comes as Fairfax Media is citing anecdotal evidence to claim that parents are increasingly doing what they can to get their kids into the property market.
The added help from Mums and Dads is in response to higher property prices in many popular areas.
Figures from the ABS also show the average loan size for a first home buyer in NSW has risen 14 per cent in the past two years to $376,000, though the figure is below last year’s peak. In Victoria the same figure has risen 10 per cent to $325,000.
Apartment prices are apparently coming off the boil with property in the major city centres dropping by an average of 6.3 per cent in the 12 months to July, according to CoreLogic figures.
Every capital city CBD posted a decline in growth but the biggest price falls were in Sydney and Melbourne.
Sydney CBD apartment prices tumbled 9.1 per cent over the 12-month period while Melbourne CBD units dropped in price by 8.4 per cent.
Are older Australians getting better treatment on tax and property?
There are claims that as Australians live longer and hold onto property to live in – indeed sometimes own multiple properties – that they are to blame for pushing up house prices to some degree.
While this might add to supply and demand pressures, and the difficulties faced by first home buyers, is it really fair to blame older Australians for this?
It comes as the independent think-tank the Grattan Institute has released a report saying the proportion of over-65s who pay income tax has halved in the past 20 years and it’s putting pressure on the economy.
The report which appears on news.com.au recommends reducing the Private Health Insurance rebate for seniors to the same level as younger workers, making more seniors pay the Medicare Levy and winding back the seniors and pensioners tax offset.
The 40 per cent of seniors who receive a full age pension would not be affected, it says, but about 500,000 part pensioners and wealthier retirees would pay more tax, says news.com.au.