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HomeNewsThe week that was… An unsurprisingly sad sense of déjà vu

The week that was… An unsurprisingly sad sense of déjà vu

sense of deja vu

By Nicola McDougall, Editor, The Female Investor

This week, I found myself sitting down opposite the Queensland Shadow Treasurer to discuss the much-derided new land tax, and blatant rent theft I might add, at Parliament House.

Recently, the State Labor Government decided that they would like to push through another new property tax aimed at investors but this time they would make landlords pay them for every property that they own – around the entire country!

Of course, this absurd policy has never seen the light of day before, because it is ridiculous and overly complex to even administer.

Firstly, seemingly, the State Government believes it is perfectly alright to tax a property that is not in their legal jurisdiction at all.

Secondly, the policy will see some investors pay double land tax for the same property – once to the actual State Government where they live and once to Queensland.

As far as the Sunshine State government is concerned, your whole portfolio is ripe for their picking if you own an investment property in “their state” – regardless of where you live or where all of your properties are even located.

I still struggle to understand how they even came up with this idea – let alone thought it was a sound one.

Seemingly, the whole shemozzle will net them a grand total of $20 million in additional revenue, without factoring the costs associated with administering this appalling policy or the fact that they seem to think that investors will self-report their interstate holdings to them – good luck with that.

The financial impost on some investors is set to be significant and there is really only one way that they can recoup these additional taxes that have been unfairly and unethically levied on them… by raising the rent on their properties – not just in Queensland but in other states and territories.

So, in essence, the new “rent theft” tax will negatively impact rental markets around the nation at a time when rents are rising strongly and vacancy rates are at record lows.

It’s also a time when many investors are selling up because they are sick and tired of being the low hanging tax fruit by governments as well as easy prey for millions of internet trolls.

I’ve been analysing property markets, and writing about them, for nearly two decades now, so I have written about the highs and lows of market and economic cycles time and time again.

One thing that has never changed, though, is the vitriol that is continually thrown at investors, who seemingly are the reason why the entire population doesn’t own their own homes.

History shows us that 30 per cent of the market is always renters, plus many people will never purchase real estate because they simply can’t afford to do so or they just don’t want to.

What really irks me is when investors get blamed for property price booms, when history again shows us that homebuyers are generally the ones that force prices up because of their emotional decision-making.

Take the peak of the market (by lending) in 2021 for example, the percentage of investors in the market was about 27 per cent, versus, their historical average of nearly 35 per cent. It stands to reason, then, that owner-occupiers made up 73 per cent of the market at that time.

So, when prices are rising strongly, which percentage of property buyers are likely to have the most impact on prices? The majority or the minority?

In the eyes of many property trolls, it appears that the few are the ones who are making problems for the many. Of course, confirmation bias means that my point of view and theirs will never be aligned, but a least I use authoritative facts, figures, experience, as well as historical reality – rather than being shouty and sometimes defamatory – to get my point across.

Nicola McDougall


The Female Investor

Main image: Supplied

Nicola McDougall The Female Investor