Renewal of AFCA Membership

AFCA will be sending out invoices to all ACR members on or around the 28th June. Brokers will have until the 31st of July to pay their yearly membership. AFCA has advised that this price will be approximately $60.00.

Please note that if you are a Corporate Credit Representative under Vow's ACL you will require a Company AFCA Membership, Directors of this company will be covered by the Company AFCA, however individual membership is required for non-directors.

ACL AFCA Members should have already received an annual assessment to complete. This needs to be completed by the 31st MAY and returned to AFCA. Once this assessment is reviewed by AFCA, the membership renewal will be sent to ACL holders. The information in the assessment is what determines the renewal price for ACL holder. ACL holders will have until the 31st of July to pay their yearly membership.

Due to the volume of renewals to be processed by AFCA, we suggest you renew as soon as practicable after receipt of the invoice to ensure continuity of membership.

Once you have your renewed your membership, please download your Membership Certificate and email a copy to onboarding@vow.com.au

If you have any questions, please contact AFCA on info@afca.org.au or 1800 931 678

Housing Construction Boost

It was revealed in the media over the past weekend that the Federal Government is planning a massive financial boost to the housing construction industry in Australia. This move is very welcome as it will create thousands of new jobs in construction and also boost Australia's housing supply. Over recent months there has been a massive fall in new residential building approvals due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government is now considering this massive injection of money to boost the residential construction industry to prevent an expected collapse in residential construction of up to 50%. However, any government support for residential construction needs to support developers who construct rental properties.

The construction of new rental properties has collapsed in Australia as highlighted by the latest figures produced by the RBA that show:

  • Compared to April 2020, there has been a 5.8% drop in the number of rentals coming on the market
  • There has been a huge drop in rental properties being constructed, down 18% on the year so far
  • Only 8.6% of the total housing finance was for new properties, where normally it is about 30% to 40%;

Unless we boost the construction of new rental homes, there would be a shortage of rental properties by next year. This will be particularly the case for homes in the outer suburbs of capital cities. While rents in inner-city areas have been hit due to more short-term landlords (Airbnb) dumping their properties onto the long-term rental market, it is a different picture in the outer suburbs. The supply of rental properties in these outer suburbs been reduced by investors being forced to sell off their rental properties over the past five years due to the banks forcing investors from interest-only to principal interest-only loans. These rental properties are being bought by owner-occupiers because recent tax changes mean that generous tax depreciation benefits for second-hand properties have been reduced meaning investors are not buying second-hand homes. These recent policy changes have resulted in a sharp decline in secondhand family homes available for rent.

Not only does the Federal Government need to help fund the construction of more new rental homes, but it also needs to urgently reverse policy changes that have damaged the property investment market over recent years.

For example, previous tax depreciation benefits should be restored to secondhand properties.

In addition, property investors should not be forced into principal and interest loans after their interest-only period has expired. It is expected that more than 700,000 interest-only loans will convert to principal and interest loans this year alone and that will mean that many investors will be forced to sell their properties as they cannot afford the higher loan repayments.

While many banks have given temporary relief to clients due to the coronavirus pandemic, there needs to be a long-term policy change in this area to prevent an impending rental famine in Australia.

Coronavirus Impact Continues

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on the rental market especially in CBD areas and popular tourist destinations. Landlords are now slashing rents by hundreds of dollars a week and some are even temporarily cutting asking prices in half to secure a tenant as rental demand plummets amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is because a massive reduction in overseas migrants, tourists as well as international students coming to Australia has resulted in surging vacancy rates.

For example, last year Australia had a net migration of 240,000. This year could be close to zero but, no matter what, 170,000 dwellings are being completed this year.

The increasing supply of new rental properties combined with a decline in demand by tenants is resulting in a steep rise in vacancy rates. The blow out in empty rental properties is underlined by the latest rental figures by SQM research. It reveals that the number of empty properties in the CBDs of Australia's three biggest cities has blown out, with new figures recording the largest monthly increase of the national vacancy rate in more than a decade.

Australia's rental market has now been flooded with vacant properties with more than 88,000 homes were left empty last month.

For example, the vacancy rate in the Sydney CBD more than doubled from 5.7 per cent in March to 13.8 per cent in April - a record high on the SQM series - with the Brisbane CBD close behind with an increase from 5.7 to 11.3 per cent.

While the vacancy rate in Melbourne's CBD was slightly better increasing 2.6 percentage points to 7.6 per cent, however in Southbank the vacancy rate jumped from 5 per cent to a huge 13 per cent. For property investors wanting to ride out the impact of the Coronavirus, it is critical they focus on their cash flow.

Taking advantage of the "hidden tax benefits" of buying a property investment is a keyway investors can boost their cash flow during 2020. It is estimated that each year hundreds of millions of dollars in legitimate tax benefits are never claimed by property investors throughout Australia. This occurs because many property investors do not use the service of a qualified tax depreciation specialist to identify items throughout their property that can be claimed for tax depreciation purposes. These 'hidden' tax benefits can amount to thousands of dollars in additional tax benefits for individual investors each year if they are correctly identified.

The reality is that many Australian property investors are unaware that a tax depreciation report undertaken by a professional tax depreciation company can identify hundreds of items in an investment property for which you can claim legitimate depreciation benefits.

The tax benefits associated with negative gearing can be very signification with DEPPRO clients achieving tax benefits obtained through depreciation equivalent to 60% of the total purchase price of the property. In some cases, these tax benefits can total $300,000 based on a purchase price of $500,000.

Earn More CPD!

We are delighted to advise that the very popular Virtual Approaches have been further enhanced.

The 'On the Couch', as well as 'Panel Perspectives' sessions now, attract CPD points. Effective immediately, each session will earn you 0.25 CPD Hours.

Do I need to lodge a claim?

No, after you access and watch the session within the Professional Platform it will automatically update your CPD Register with credits earned.

What about the previous sessions do I need to put a CPD Claim in for them?

No, we have adjusted the CPD registers of everyone who has watched the sessions already published in the Professional Platform.