On July 1 this year the Federal Government activated a new measure to capture capital gains tax on the sale of property by foreign owners. This was in response to a realisation that almost all foreign owners selling property at a profit have quickly been moving their money off-shore – thus avoiding payment of capital gains tax.
The new regime affects all properties sold for $2,000.000 or more. The purchaser of a property must hold back 10% of the sale price at settlement and remit this to the ATO.
Sellers can apply for an exemption. The reality is just about all applications, where the owner is an Australian tax payer and/or there is no capital gains tax payable, are approved and the settlement of the sale goes through in the normal way. However – there is a massive “trap” that will undoubtedly catch many purchasers. This is the “trap”… If a purchaser is not provided with an exemption certificate and does not retain the 10% then the PURCHASER STILL HAS TO PAY THE 10%, PLUS INTEREST!!
Imagine purchasing a property for $2,200,000 (not hard to do in Sydney) and then, a few months later, receiving a demand from the ATO for $220,000 plus interest!! It may be easy to dismiss this new regime as one affecting only expensive properties. However, with the passage of time more and more properties will fall into this category – and there is no guarantee that the regime will not be expanded to include properties of lesser value.
Never has it been more important to get the best professional advice when buying or selling property!
Australia’s National Asbestos Awareness Month this November aims to stop Australian’s from playing ‘Renovation Roulette’. The initiative has been put together by the Asbestos Education Committee, in partnership with the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute and the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities. The campaign aims to educate homeowners, renovators, handymen and tradespeople about the dangers of asbestos and how to manage it safely.
Asbestos in Australia
Australia was among one of the largest consumers of asbestos containing materials in the world with asbestos-containing products still found in one in three brick, weatherboard, fibro or clad homes built or renovated before 1987.
A spokesman for the Asbestos Education Committee said: “Asbestos was used in the manufacture of a broad range of products. It could be anywhere! Without knowing where these types of asbestos-containing products might be located or how to manage and dispose of asbestos safely, Australian’s play a risky game of ‘Renovation Roulette’. If they disturb asbestos-containing materials and release fibres that can be inhaled, it may cause asbestos-related diseases including malignant mesothelioma.”
Asbestos can be found in carpets, linoleum, vinyl tiles, behind wall and floor tiles, in cement floors, internal and external walls, ceilings and ceiling space (insulation), eaves, garages, roofs, around hot water pipes, fences, extensions to homes, garages, outdoor toilets, backyard and farm structures, chicken sheds and even dog kennels.
More information: www.asbestosawareness.com.au.
New amendments to the regulations that will give homebuyers of properties with swimming pools 90 days to rectify non-compliant swimming pool barriers are a sensible approach, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales. Minister for Local Government Paul Toole announced on Friday (11 March, 2016) the new regulations applying to the sale of properties with swimming pools to take effect from 29 April 2016.
“From 29 April 2016, vendors will need to attach to the contract of sale a Certificate of Compliance, or a Certificate of Non-Compliance outlining what needs to be fixed, ”REINSW President John Cunningham said.
“This is a sensible approach given the ongoing issues and delays over the last three years in regard to these important regulations.
“It is great to see that amendments have been made to allow these regulations the ability to be successfully implemented and help make our backyards safer,” Mr Cunningham said.
As part of the regulations, from 29 April 2016 every new tenancy agreement must have a compliance certificate if the property has a swimming pool.
With plentiful stock on the market as we head towards the end of the year, it is likely that some of those properties will be purchased by buyers who in turn need to sell their own home to help fund the acquisition.
There are also plenty of property owners out there who are encouraged by current prices being achieved and are worried whether or not the momentum will continue through to the New Year so that they too may benefit from the strong market.
To this end we are constantly approached and asked whether marketing a property over the festive season is a good idea, or in fact how early is too early to commence a sales campaign in 2015.
Dispelling the myths
Not as much competition
There will be fewer properties on the market and as such your property will have less competition for buyer’s attention. Less competition also leads to a higher chance of a premium price with purchasers competing over less stock in the market place.
New Year’s Resolution
Those prospective purchasers who made a resolution at the start of 2014 and have not yet bought will be eager to secure a property before another year passes by too quickly. There will also be a new set of purchasers entering the market who will hit the ground running in January to start the search for their new home.
Spring empty nesters
A large group of recent sellers who sold in Spring are now on the hunt for their next home, cashed up and ready to go.
Over the festive season people have more time on their side, leave from work, less stress and are generally more relaxed. The perfect time to look to purchase a new property.
This is the time of year all the ex-pats come to town from working overseas and only have a small window of opportunity to purchase a property.