The five biggest government housing policy decisions

Property has been through its fair share of changes over the past years, and with an election underway across the nation Property Observer has decided to take a look at some of the biggest government decisions that affected the market.


1) Capital gains tax

Introduced on 20 September 1985 by Hawke/Keating government, it applies to properties acquired on or after that specific date. There are a number of different nuances to the rules.


2) Temporary negative gearing abolition

In July 1985, under the Hawke/Keating government, negative gearing underwent a temporary abolition. It’s still often a contested topic however there currently do not appear to be any plans to change it.


3) Introduction of GST and subsequent introduction of First Home Owners Scheme

While we’ve seen first home owner’s grants change over the years, one of the most prominent changes was the First Home Owners Scheme. Introduced on 1 July 2000 to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership, it was funded by the states and territories. Grants have come and gone since this time.


4) Gearing in SMSFs

Since mid-2007, superannuation laws have changed to allow self-managed super funds to invest in property with bank debt. While a number of changes to SMSF regulations have been made since this time, the changes to borrowing rules opened up superannuation as an area of interest to property investors.



The National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) has divided opinion. Introduced in 2008 to seek to manage the shortage of affordable rental properties by offering a financial incentive to investors, properties under NRAS are sitting at least 20 per cent below market rent. Currently, it's an investment that's seeing some criticism.

What other changes do you think have had a landmark effect on the Australian property industry?


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