Accessing Superannuation Savings Has Merit for First Home Buyers

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Allowing access to superannuation savings to assist young families to accumulate a deposit for a home warrants close consideration, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

“Superannuation contributions are a form of forced savings for people – to support them in their retirement. Owning a home delivers the same result, but with the added benefits arising from home ownership throughout their working lives,” said Graham Wolfe, HIA’s Executive Director, Industry Policy and Media.

“Many young people are busy working, renting, repaying their education costs and in many instances, raising a family,” said Mr Wolfe. “Saving for a deposit at the same time is a significant challenge.”

“By enabling access to a portion of their superannuation savings, many aspirational first home buyers would be able to accumulate a deposit, secure home ownership sooner and redirect their rental payments to their own future financial security,” Mr Wolfe added.

“Accessing superannuation for a home deposit would provide temporary access to their personal savings. Provided it was repaid to their superannuation accounts over a period of time, similar to university HECS repayments, their retirement savings would be assured,” said Mr Wolfe.

“HIA urges all stakeholders to support measures aimed at improving access to home ownership for first home buyers, including assistance in breaching the deposit gap”, concluded Mr Wolfe.

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  1. Robert Lopez

    There is a whole school of economic thought that argues high house prices in Australia has a lot to do with cheap money and easy credit. First homebuyers need cheaper housing not bigger loans. Unfortunately, rising house prices has become an economic imperative in Australia because without it households will likely reduce their spending to focus on paying down debt.
    Bottom line Australia’s economic success story is increasingly hitched to consumer spending that is driven by the ability of households to take on ever more levels of debt. Accessing superannuation to pay for housing is nonsense because all it does is bring yet more money to compete with the cheap money and credit that is there already. A much cleverer thing to do is introduce infrastructure bonds into superannuation funds. These bonds finance land developments and subdivisions which in turn derive income from utility rates imposed on freehold land purchasers. Nothing new in this – local governments have been doing it for years.