Superannuation is not for home deposits, it’s for retirement.

Allowing Australians to access their superannuation funds, for a home deposit, is not only unsound economically, it could place young people at risk of living in poverty when they become seniors.

 

“Every media outlet seems to be running stories about the pros and cons of accessing superannuation to pay for a home deposit,” Shelter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said.

The evidence to support these arguments does not stack up and economists are expressing concerns.

Shelter WA also has fears that if an inflated housing market drops, which is possible in New South Wales and Victoria, people would effectively lose super for no housing equity.

There are better ways Federal and State politicians could help improve housing affordability for those Australians locked out of the market.

“These include reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions; expanding shared equity options; reforming stamp duty and improving planning processes,” Mr Hall said.

“We are not standing alone here.

“Many of these ideas are backed up by leading Australian economists and property leaders,” Mr Hall said.

On April 10, 2017, the Treasurer Scott Morrison spoke to Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) delegates in a Pre-budget address that focussed on home ownership and the rental market.

Mr Hall said it was clear that Mr Morrison was empathetic to the plight of young Australians trying to buy their own homes.

“However, thought bubbles about using superannuation to pay for home deposits are just that – thought bubbles,” Mr Hall said.

“Politicians adopting housing policies could come up with much better ideas if they listened to housing advocates, such as Shelter WA, as well as researchers and economists.

“Shelter WA staff members regularly interact with people who are looking for affordable accommodation or are experiencing homelessness.

“We not only have the policies that could help shape strategies to ensure there are more affordable homes, we engage with the Australians who need them.”

Key Points

 Using superannuation funds, to buy housing in inflated markets, only works to push up house prices.  Without significant new supply, people will have access to more money to bid for the same amount of houses.

  • Accessing superannuation funds for home deposits would have a negative long-term effect on the budget.
  • Accessing superannuation funds for home deposits could see this generation of young people significantly worse off when they retire.
  • Ways of making homes more affordable include: reforming negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions; expanding shared equity options; reforming stamp duty and improving planning processes

Shelter WA Promotes social and affordable housing and works towards the elimination of homelessness.