Weekend reads – Must read articles from the last week

There are more interesting articles, commentaries and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month.

Each Saturday morning I like to share some of the ones I’ve read during the week.

The weekend will be over before you know it, so enjoy some weekend reading…and please forward to your friends by clicking the social link buttons.

Federal budget 2017: Five housing changes to know about

This week has been all about the Federal Budget – But what does it all really mean when it comes to changes in the housing market?

To cut through all the noise, Domain.com.au has presented a article outlining the 5 housing changes you need to know.

Housing was a hot button topic for the 2017/2018 federal budget, so it’s no surprise there were a raft of changes for real estate.budget australia money

The new measures have impacted on a variety of housing rules from first-home buyers’ savings strategies to what investors can claim at tax-time.

Here are the five big announcements to know about.

1) Foreigners can only buy up to 50 per cent of a development

Under the new budget rules, developers will no longer be able to sell every property in their new development to overseas buyers.

Instead, a maximum of half the development can be sold to foreign buyers with the rest to be sold locally.

The budget documents note this is to provide a “clear message” that new housing stock is expected to increase supply for Australian buyers.

2) First Home Super Saver Scheme  

First-home buyers weren’t ignored by the budget with a new First Home Super Saver Scheme announcedfirst home buyers

The new super saver scheme will allow first-time buyers to put up to $15,000 a year, to a maximum of $30,000 under the scheme, into their superannuation.

These funds can later be withdrawn for a home deposit, including any earnings the deposits made.

This means they will have a tax incentive to save more, and it can be taken advantage of as a couple with each claiming $30,000.

3) An ’empty home’ tax on foreign investors

Foreign investors who keep properties vacant for more than six months will be faced with a vacancy tax.

This is described as a charge on “underutilised residential property”.

The cost of this tax will be the equivalent of their foreign investment application fee – some several thousand dollars – and will be charged annually.

This change is intended to get more vacant homes onto the rental market.

4) Stopping investors from claiming travel deductionsCloud house of tax concept on blue sky

Investors who previously had tax deductions for travel expenses related to their investment property will no longer be able to make these claims.

The government has ruled them out, even for those travelling to collect rent, maintain or inspect a premises, saying many have been incorrectly obtaining this deduction.

This has included situations for “private travel purposes”.

5) Retirees given incentives to downsize

Australians aged over 65 who sell their home of a decade or more will soon be able to put up to $300,000 in sale proceeds into their superannuation.

This incentive to downsize is expected to help free up larger homes for families to move into.

Read the full article here

How to REALLY get the best agent + Your ‘score’ with the banks + Agents need to adjust to consumers needs

Another great Real Estate Talk show produced by Kevin Turner. 

Wealth Retreat 2018 - General

Michael Yardney discusses how to really get the bets agent.

Andrew Mirams explains how to check your ‘score’ with the bank.

Greg Dickason discusses why agents need to get on board with the changing needs of consumers.

Ken Raiss answers some great questions from our listeners.

Jane Slack-Smith explains why you shouldn’t be complacent with your renovation

If you don’t already subscribe to this excellent weekly internet based radio show do so now by clicking here.

Budget goes (quite) big on infrastructure

This week’s budget proved very supportive towards growing our infrastructure.

This Blog by Pete Wargent shows the statistics behind the results.

Return to surplus…again

As ever, the Budget forecasts a return to surplus – tantalisingly just over the horizon – with the underlying cash balance projected to improve from a deficit of $37.6 billion, to a deficit of $27.6 billion in 2017-18, and back to a surplus of $7.4 billion by 2021.


Big sounding deficit numbers on the face of it, but in terms of the size of the economy we’re really talking about a deficit of 2.1 per cent of GDP returning to surplus some time in the future.


The “net operating balance”, which adjust for long term spending, is projected to return to surplus a year earlier at 2019-20.

In reality Australia only has moderate levels of net debt in international terms, at just 18.6 per cent of GDP.

Read the full article here

Here’s the insanely complex way the government wants to help young people save for their first house

This week’s  federal budget included assistance for first home buyer.

But while that sound fantastic in theory – the reality seems a little more complicated.

This article from Business Insider breaks down the complexities behind the new changes to explain what first home buyers can actually expect.

The Turnbull government will launch a tax break for people saving for their first home, in the form of voluntary contributions to superannuation.

The First Home Super Savers Scheme will come into effect from 1 July this year. first home

Savers will be able to make additional contributions to their super account which is taxed at the concessional rate of 15%, rather than the standard marginal rate on their salary, in a manner similar to salary sacrifice.

Contributions will be capped at $15,000 per year up to a total of $30,000.

The extra contributions will only be eligible to earn interest on a deemed rate based on 90-day bank bills, plus 3%.

It won’t be allocated to standard superannuation investments such as blue chip stocks.

Any interest earned will be taxed at 15%.

Withdrawals on the savings are allowed from 1 July, 2018 and taxed at the marginal rate the person incurs on their salary.

But the tax applied at the marginal rate will then be reduced by 30%.What-is-capital-Gains-Tax-200x300

Still with us?

In a worked example, the government cited a person earning $60,000 who salary sacrifices $10,000 per year of pre-tax income into their super account over three years.

After the 15% tax, they would have $8,500 per year invested, accumulating to $25,500 after three years, with after-tax interest earned of $1,880 — $27,380 in total.

The government said that tax on the $27,380 at the person’s marginal tax rate, less the 30% offset, would leave net tax to pay of $1,880.

That leaves $25,760 for a deposit.

The government claims that is $6,240 higher than saving via a standard deposit account.

Anyone self-employed or whose employer doesn’t offer salary sacrifice can claim a tax deduction on contributions to their superannuation account, which effectively makes it a pre-tax contribution.

Read the full article here

Five ways to salvage your worst email blunders

Have you ever ever sent an email accidentally without checking it? Or worse sent it to the wrong recipient?

It’s safe to say we’eve all made out fair share of technical faux pas – but now there’s a way of smoothing them out.

An article from ExecutiveStyle looks at 5 ways to salvage your embarrassing email blunders.

We’ve all been there. phone

You’re in a rush, tired, not paying attention to your screen and before you know it you’ve made an embarrassing spelling mistake in an email.

Worse, you’ve hit “reply all” and fired off a message to the very person you were criticising.

Realisation dawns seconds after you’ve pressed send.

You freeze in horror, burn with shame and then go into full-on panic.

What to do?

Dare you admit your mistake?

Here are five common email blunders, and how best to recover from them.

1. If auto-correct has embarrassed you

In this era of smartphones, the dangers of auto-correct are well-documented. man-791049_1920

Writing “horny” instead of “hungry” might cause you shame, but it’s more than likely that the recipient has made similar errors.

Harder to explain away is the addition of a rogue emoji, as discovered by the woman who sent an email of condolence on the death of a friend’s parent, only to have her sign-off – “see you at the funeral” – completed by a skull and crossbones.

Send a calm follow-up, explaining that you were in a hurry and that your phone got the better of you.

2. If you’ve written the wrong name

The sooner you notice, the better.

Respond quickly and briefly, apologising for your mistake.

Don’t dismiss it too lightly, as people can be offended, especially if it suggests a misunderstanding of their culture. But there is no need to grovel.

It happens to everyone and – if their name lends itself to a mis-type, like the office PA constantly called Turkey, instead of Tuckey – they might well be used to it.

3. If you accidentally send your boss a kiss keyboard-690066_1920

Ending an email with “X” is the most natural thing in the world, except when the recipient is your CEO.

Pity the person who sent their boss two lines of “Zzz” in an email about tiredness, only to have them auto-corrected to kisses.

The only options are to laugh it off and blame technology, ensuring all follow-up emails are exactingly professional, even if it comes back with an “X”.

4. If you hit ‘reply all’

This tends to be irritating more than anything: when you accidentally reveal to the entire company what menu choices you would prefer at the staff summer do.

The best solution is to send a light-hearted email to excuse your clumsiness.

But it can quickly escalate if people start hitting “reply all” to join in a long conversation.

The best thing is not to get involved. Step away from your keyboard, allowing everyone to calm down.women-1209678_1920

5. If you send an unkind message to its subject

There’s nothing so likely to make your body seize up with pure panic.

You write a nasty message about someone, intending to send it to a friend, but accidentally forward it to the person you’re discussing.

A face-to-face apology is essential, especially if you work together.

Ask to speak in private as soon as possible.

If the email was triggered by a specific incident, it’s probably a good time to explain why you were angry in the first place. Set out your frustrations calmly and see it as an opportunity to rectify any difficulties.

Or just go into lockdown, delete your social media accounts and screen calls

Click here for the full article



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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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