Australia’s ageing army of landlords

By Leith van Onselen

The Australian reports that the proportion of investors who are aged 60-plus rose from around 15% to about 23.5% between 2000 and 2017, whereas the number of negatively geared investors also surged from 631,000 to about 1.3 million over the same period:

The statistics show that between 2000 and 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, the number of individuals negatively gearing their portfolios has more than doubled, from about 631,000 to about 1.3 million.

Over the same period, the number of investors breaking even or making a profit has climbed by a relatively modest 60 per cent, from about 532,000 to about 856,000.

…the number of landlords who had six or more properties and a taxable income of below $18,200 skyrocketed from 1246 to 3008 over the same period, after touching a peak of 3981 in 2008.

Over the same period, the proportion of investors who are 60 or older increased from about 15 per cent to about 23.5 per cent.

The below chart, which comes from the ATO taxation statistics for the 2016-17 financial year, shows the massive lift in the number of negatively geared investors:

Who are claiming an average of $8,771 in rental losses:

While the ongoing decline in investor mortgage rates has tempered losses:

This has been more than offset by weakness in rental growth:

Until Labor gains office and implements its negative gearing reforms, Australia will remain a nation of loss-making landlords.

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Leith van Onselen

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