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Lower interest rates mean fewer investors are negatively geared. - featured image
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Lower interest rates mean fewer investors are negatively geared.

The proportion of landlords negatively gearing rental properties has fallen below 60 per cent for the first time on record, reflecting a decline in interest rates.Interest Rate

Of course, negative gearing isn't an investment strategy - it's just a reflection of your funding and cash flow at a particular time.

New data published by the Australian Taxation Office show that of the 2.2 million taxpayers owning at least 1 rental property, 1.3 million declared a net rental loss in 2018-19.

The average rental loss in 2018-19 was $9,086 – well down on the $11,010 average loss in 2010-11 when the cash rate was at 4.5% but record-low mortgage interest rates make it hard to make a loss.

Negative gearing
Source of Graphic- Australian Financial Review

The Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) latest taxation statistics are based on the tax returns of 14.7 million Australians for 2018-19.

Analysis of the data by the Australia Institute reveals there were 66 Australians who earned more than $1 million in that financial year who did not pay a cent of income tax, compared to 73 the year before.

According to the ATO stats in 2018-19:

  • ​931,132 – had one property negatively geared.
  • ​250,035 had two properties claiming a loss.
  • ​74,955 property investors had three properties negative geared
  • ​26,719 owners had four properties claiming a net rental loss
  • ​10,935 landlords negative geared five properties,
  • ​11,226 landlords claimed negative gearing for at least six investment properties

Greg Jerico produced the following insightful graphics in The Guardian  displaying the long term trends of Aussies rental profits or losses

Negative gearing

Negative gearing

About Kate Forbes is the National Director of Property Strategy at Metropole. She has 22 years of investment experience in financial markets on two continents, is qualified in multiple disciplines, and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
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