Could home buyers use super as collateral to secure a home loan?

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on March 22, 2022 Fact Checked
Could home buyers use super as collateral to secure a home loan?

An inquiry into housing affordability has raised the possibility of allowing young Australians to use superannuation as collateral to buy their first home.

The House of Representatives' report tabled Friday revealed a number of recommendations to improve housing affordability and supply across the country. 

Of the sixteen recommendations, one key measure included the use of superannuation as security for first home buyers looking to grab a slice of the property market. 

Following a year of unprecedented property growth with the total value of Australia's housing market nearing $10 trillionHouse of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue Chair Jason Falinski MP said being able to afford a home is becoming harder and harder for younger Australians.

"Most people focus on the price of the house, but the largest barrier to entry for young Australians is saving for the deposit," Mr Falinski said in the report. 

"On all the various measures, the time it takes a worker on average wages to save for a deposit has increased from a number that could be measured in months to one that can be measured in a decade."

Recently, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) revealed the time it takes to save for a deposit has doubled since the early 1990s, from four to eight years.

The House report recommendation highlighted first home buyers should be able to use their super as collateral for a housing loan given that paying off a mortgage is a very common way of saving for retirement.

"This would reduce the deposit needed to enter the housing market and have a similar effect to allowing access to super," the report states.

"Under this approach super balances would only be reduced if the first home buyer defaulted on their home loan, which is an unexpected and infrequent occurrence in Australia, limiting negative impacts on younger Australians and women."

Mr Falinski said there is significant evidence that the biggest impediment to gaining entry into the housing market is the deposit, and using superannuation as collateral could ease that pressure.

"Inquiry after inquiry has found ownership of your home is the single biggest factor in determining financial security," Mr Falinski told Savings.com.au. 

"This idea reduces that impediment; that is why it is beneficial for the first home only."

Solving supply issues remains front of mind, with the Committee recommending the Australian Government implement policies which financially incentivise state and local governments to adopt better planning and property administration practices.

"The Federal Government needs to incentivise state and local governments to empower communities to make their own choices and trade-offs, while offering real benefits for those who bear the costs," Mr Falinski said in the report. 

"These benefits should include better transport infrastructure, improved local amenities and the assurance of protections and preservation of surrounding areas guaranteed in law, not just spoken of to be broken within a few years."

HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe said the nation will have to build 1.66 million houses by 2030 just to keep up with the demand from population growth.

"The housing affordability challenges facing Australian households can only be addressed if the supply of housing can align with demand," Mr Wolfe said.


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    Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.

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