How to add $100K in value in 6 weeks + John Symond says property will continue to grow + Ray White’s grandson remembers

Ken Raiss answers a question about possible tax implications when doing a subdivision by acquiring a portion of a neighbour’s land.
Aussie Home Loans chairman John Symond has claimed the housing market has the potential for 10-15% growth over the next three years.  We talk to John about that and find out what he bases that on.
Michael Yardney talks about the bank of mum and dad in helping young people get into property.  More and more first homebuyers are being forced to rely on their parents to lend them a hand to get a foothold into the property market.
Real estate heavyweight and patriarch of the powerful Ray White group is our feature guest in the show.  Brian White talks about growing up in a family where all the discussion is about real estate and he reflects on his early memories of his grandfather Ray and his dad Allan.  He has some good advice about investing in real estate as well.
Renovation superstar Jane Slack-Smith shares the story of how she added one hundred thousand dollars in value to a property in just 6 weeks.
You will find us at iTunes under podcasts as Real Estate Talk.  Listen there for free, leave a review which helps us grow and tells us what you like and how we can improve the show.  Don’t forget to subscribe at the site as well –even if you do get the show through iTunes – so that we can tell you about the bonus offers we make to subscribers.   Your questions are welcome through the site as well.


Property to jump in value – John Symond

Kevin:  Aussie Home Loans chairman John Symond has claimed that the housing market has the potential for 10 to 15% growth over the next few years, and he also dispels the myth about the housing bubble. He joins me.
Hi, John. Thanks again for your time.
John:  Great, Kevin.
Kevin:  No bubble on the horizon, John?
John:  I don’t see a bubble. That doesn’t mean that you won’t have pockets of areas, Kevin, where you might have a temporary oversupply of apartments, because there are a lot of new developments down the eastern seaboard – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. But, in terms of a bubble, a bubble means really the whole real estate market collapses, and I’m definitely firmly of the view that that’s just not on the cards.
Kevin:  Yes. You’re on record – as I said in the opening there – for saying that the market has potential for growth. What do you base that on, John?
John:  Population is important. Generally, Sydney and Melbourne are the two cities that values have really spiked, but Kevin, the real reason for that is supply and demand and population growth. It’s the only two cities that you have significant population growth and a shortage of supplies – Sydney, especially.
Sydney falls behind 20,000 to 30,000 homes and apartments each year to meet the population increase, so it gets down to supply and demand. The same thing for Melbourne, to a lesser extent, but still significant for parts of South East Queensland.
When you have the lowest interest rates since Captain Cook sailed into Botany Bay and employment is still very solid, housing is going to remain very popular, Kevin.
Kevin:  You mentioned there about oversupply, and I know there’s been a lot of talk about oversupply, particularly in the Brisbane market and inner-city apartments and so on. Are there any other parts of Australia that you’re concerned about in terms of oversupply? How real is it, John?
John:  The real oversupply is part of Sydney and Melbourne. Now, Melbourne has had a couple of splashes of oversupply over the last five years, around Docklands. That market took a hit temporarily. Some prices came off – anything from 10% to 20% – until those apartments were taken up.
We used to see it in Surfers Paradise. But I think developers more careful, lenders are more careful, but that won’t stop some oversupply in sub-suburbs or part of a city. Sydney is exposed. If we get half of the new supply of apartments in Sydney over the next couple of years, we will definitely have an oversupply of apartments in, again, part of Sydney.
People come up to me every day in the street and say, “What do you think of the real estate market?” Well, if you take Brisbane, there would be at least six or seven different real estate markets in Brisbane – first-home buyers, apartments, new housing, holiday housing. Which part of the real estate market are you asking the question about?
But generally, while these interest rates are going to stay low for a lot longer, Kevin – longer than what we all thought because globally the world is in a low-interest-rate environment. So as long as employment stays healthy, people are going to be able to meet their repayments.
In fact, I was reading some data yesterday where the average – not all; average – mortgage owner is nearly three years ahead of their mortgage payments. Now, this doesn’t apply to people who’ve just bought a property the last 12 or 18 months. But people who’ve had a property for five years, six, seven years and more, they’re at least three years ahead because they’re being cautious. They’re still making the same monthly repayments when interest rates were 7% versus 4%.
Kevin:  Yes. John, continuing to talk about this potential for an oversupply and how much building is going on – particularly inner-city apartments – what impact do you think it’s going to have when the banks renege on some of their loans for people who have committed to an off-the-plan purchase. What is that going to do to that market and to some of the developers in particular?
John:  Well, the biggest single factor, it’s not people putting up that 10% and regulators changed the rules going back 18 months ago. I think that fear is settled down. I’m confident that banks and other lenders, if someone has got a good job, they put up their 10%, they’re bona fide, I’m confident they will get set. The risk is the end value when the building is completed.
Now, if the market is strong, you haven’t got a problem. If you’re in an area where there’s another 500 apartments trying to be sold nearby, well, that’s going to impact the values. This is why buying off-the-plan is a bit of a gamble, because you’re taking a risk on the end value, which might be two or three years away.
Investors need them to be rented. Not only is there the potential for the value to soften and be lower than what your contract was agreed on, you’re relying on renting it out. If you have hundreds of apartments being bought by investors wanting to rent them out, well, then you’re going to maybe have a problem finding a tenant.
This is why I say to people you can make money on buying off the plan, but in a lot of ways it’s like going off to the casino. Because you can’t control what’s going to happen in two or three years’ time. Even if Australia performs well, we are very dependent on the global economy. If there’s a negative event offshore, we’re going to feel the effects.
So it has a lot more risk to it, but that’s not saying people have made a lot of money buying off the plan, as well. But I’m saying for normal, everyday moms and dads or small investors, buying off the plan has a lot more risk. You need a lot more professional advice, and make sure you know what you’re getting into because it’s risky.
Kevin:  Very good advice. John, I want to thank you for giving us your time, too. Always great talking to you, John Symond. Thank you so much.
John:  Thank you, Kevin.

Making 100K out of a reno in 6 weeks – Jane Slack-Smith

Kevin:  In a recent article in Australian Property Investor magazine, an article called Renovation Gold. It featured some excellent comment from my next guest, Jane Slack-Smith. Jane, of course, is from Your Property Success.
Hi, Jane.
Jane:  Hey. How are you doing, Kevin?
Kevin:  Yes, good. That was a tremendous article. What a great success, you actually added $100,000 in value in a period of just six weeks.
Jane:  Absolutely. Look, when I look at doing any renovation I need to add at least $2 for every $1 I spend. In the end we ended up adding about $2.90, so tick the boxes.
Kevin:  Were there any great lessons out of that?
Jane:  I think the thing is that most people when they think about renovation, they think they’re buying a property to renovate. I actually bought this property back in 2002. I didn’t renovate it until 13 years later. I think that’s one of the lessons from this.
I have five R’s of renovation. You have a refresh renovation where you run in and clean it up. You have a repair where you pull out the toolbox and you might do a little bit of painting. Then, you have that rejuvenation, which is we get rid of the kitchen and bathroom and make it look beautiful. The fourth one is restructure, where we’re adding on that unique box on the back that we talk about or maybe converting a three-bedroom to a four-bedroom under the current roofline.
But this is the revamp. This revamp is about looking at your current portfolio and going, “You know what can I do for it,” so I did that.
Kevin:  Wow. It just shows you, doesn’t it, that it’s never too late to renovate.
Jane:  That’s a good title for a song.
Kevin:  Yes. Actually, it probably is. But it is never too late, is it?
Jane:  No, absolutely not. I think we’ve had all of these changes with APRA and ASIC and people’s borrowing capacity. People need to be a bit inventive about their current portfolio and (a) making sure that it still performs for them and (b) looking at opportunities to make it really deliver on the promise that it can really be.
Kevin:  Someone starting out with renovation, Jane, what would be your advice? You’ve given us the refresh, repair, rejuvenate, restructure, and revamp; does one of those suit the first-time renovator better than any other? I would imagine it would probably be refresh, if you buy well enough.
Jane:  Yes. If you buy well, if the property is a really… We’ve all inspected these properties. You walk in and they smell and they might have years of smoking and you can see all of the marks on the roof. But, in actual fact, a bit of elbow grease, and they’re actually a fabulous property and you can increase the rent. Now, unfortunately, they’re a little harder to find.
But that rejuvenation renovation is really what most people do, that cosmetic renovation. I think when we look at renovation as a key to making a profit, we really need to understand that (a) does the property have the capacity to be renovated? So obviously, we’re not looking at brand new properties. But (b) can we actually make money out of it?
The reason that I targeted this property was that I could see that median properties in the area or actually renovated properties were selling for $900,000 to $920,000. I knew when I got my first valuation done that it was valued at $820,000. The renovation was going to cost me less than $40,000 with holding costs, etc. So I could actually create a better and higher value for that property.
You obviously don’t want to spend $40,000 and have your $820,000 property only worth $860,000. This property went up and six weeks later was valued by the same valuer at $920,000, and that was what I was aiming for: creating that equity and pushing the rent up.
Kevin:  Yes. Rejuvenation is where you say most people go to. Well, that’s certainly the first thing they think about when you talk about renovation. But it can also be the area, if you’re not careful, where you can very easily overspend or overcapitalize.
Jane:  Absolutely. I pulled out my renovation discount card and managed to get some really great discounts on my kitchen packages, etc. But I think the thing is that you really have to be clear about your budget.
For every 10 properties I look at that are in my budget that I want to purchase, I always look at one property that’s been renovated. I look at the standard of finishes that I have to do. There’s no point putting Caesarstone in an area that doesn’t expect Caesarstone in the kitchen, and that’s really one area that you could really overcapitalize.
Kevin:  So much to learn about in renovation. Now, I want to mention here that The Ultimate Guide to Renovation is about to kick off again.
Jane:  Absolutely. We’re in preparation to opening enrollments. Enrollments are going to open on the 20th of October, so that’s pretty exciting. But, we’re getting geared up for all our new students.
Kevin:  Okay. Well, if you’d like to know a little bit about it, there’s a video series that you can jump into. It’s absolutely free of charge. All you have to do is use the link on the home page or on any one of player pages at That’ll take you straight to it. That’s right, isn’t it, Jane?
Jane:  Absolutely. We look forward to educating people. The video series is excellent. I had a lot of fun filming with drones this time, so it’s a little bit different.
Kevin:  That’s good. Well, I’ve always enjoyed them in the past, and I’ll look forward to seeing these, too. There’ll be three in the series and I’ll start streaming it. Just go to the Real Estate Talk website (, and have a look for the link, the Ultimate Guide to Renovation. Click on that. That will give you all the details. It’s absolutely free, and you can start to learn all about renovation from the lady herself, Jane Slack-Smith.
Jane, thank you so much for your time.
Jane:  Thank you, Kevin.

Bank of Mum and Dad – Michael Yardney

Kevin:  Gee, I’m hearing a lot about how difficult it is for young people to get into the market. Look, I agree; I understand a lot of people are absolutely paralyzed about what they should do. There are so many options for them. Let’s to and demystify this a little bit. Michael Yardney joins me.
Michael, I know there are several options for young people to get into the market. Maybe we can just have a look at a few of those and give us your impressions about what they can do.
Michael:  Kevin, there are lots of stories about how the younger generation currently – Gen Y’s and the Millennials below them – are having difficulty getting a foot on the property ladder. It’s a combination of higher prices, more difficulty getting finance, and in my mind also, maybe a little bit of lack of financial discipline and people not even getting a bit of a deposit to get going.
But, Kevin, there’s nothing different from when we were young. It was even harder to get a bank loan. You had to wear a suit. You had to put on your tie. You had to go to sit with the bank manager. You had to prove a savings record and save a reasonable deposit. And if you were married, Kevin, when I was young – and I’m pretty sure it was the same when you were young – they wouldn’t take your wife’s income to account, either, would they?
Kevin:  No, exactly right. That made it very, very difficult. They actually discouraged you from actually having an investment philosophy by making you sell one property before you moved to another one.
Michael:  It was much harder then. Also, I think our expectations were a bit lower. To start off with, we were happy to get involved in any sort of property, buy anything, and in the future, get the dream home. But today, the younger generation want to have all the modern conveniences that it took their parents 20, 30, or 40 years to get.
Having said that, it still is difficult, so we can go through a couple of ways to make it easier.
Kevin:  Yes, let’s do that.
Michael:  Interestingly, has done a survey showing how many young families are now turning to the bank of mom and dad to start getting a deposit. The problem is you still need 5%, 10%, and sometimes even 20% deposit before the bank with lend you the rest.
That’s the bit that people are having difficulty with, and in my mind, you can turn to the bank of mom and dad or you can become self-reliant, Kevin, and actually have some financial discipline.
Kevin:  Yes, okay. What other advice would you have for them, Michael?
Michael:  The first bit I’d say is spend less than you earn. In other words, you’ll never save for a deposit if you spend more than you earn and owe other people money. So, shrink some of your expenses, have a budget.
Now, I know the “B” word – the “budget” word – is a dirty word, but look for areas where you can minimize expenses. Have a look at where you can save things. See what you don’t have to spend impulsively.
Kevin, I have a rather really clever way of doing things. Just before you click the checkout box online when you buy the next doodad or whatever you buy online, just keep it in the shopping cart for 72 hours. And if you still feel you really need it a day or two or three later, then click “Okay,” and go ahead and buy it.
I think we all suffer a little bit from this impulsive spending, and sometimes, you don’t need to buy those things.
Kevin:  No, fair enough, mate. That’s good.
Michael:  Then what you should do once you have some savings is park it in a high-interest account. Now, unfortunately, today “high interest” isn’t the good high interest we had many years ago. But put it somewhere, where you can’t take it out.
Get an automatic transfer so you pay yourself first. Put that savings into that high-interest account, or if you have bad debt, use it to pay off your bad debt first. But automatically take 10% or more of your earnings out before you spend it. Now, I know some people say, “But I don’t have 10% to give away,” but the answer is five or six years ago, you earned 10% or 20% less and you managed to survive, so you should do that.
Don’t buy anything on a credit card or a store card that you can’t pay off at the end of the month. Kevin, I buy lots of things on credit cards, I love the frequent flyer points, but I’ve never bought anything I haven’t been able to pay off at the end of the month.
The next thing is invest in yourself. Learn about financial fluency. Understand the difference between and asset and a liability, an expense and an outgoing. Understand what good debt / bad debt is.
If you do that, sure, you can still rely on the bank of mom and dad like we said a moment ago to get you started, but if they suddenly give you a gift, if they suddenly give you a deposit, if suddenly you get a windfall, and you don’t have the financial discipline, odds are you’re not going to be able to use it effectively. You’ll probably blow that away, too.
Kevin:  Yes, great advice there, Michael. I think the key thing there is your message about credit cards. It’s great to use them, but just make sure that you can actually pay them off so that you’re not accumulating the debt, because it’s very expensive.
Michael:  Very much so. Normal debt is at 4.5% or 5% – or even with a 3 at the front of it for a house – but credit card debt is double-digit and often in the high teens. So you’re actually taking money out of the future to live today and paying somebody a high interest rate to have that privilege.
Kevin:  Indeed, yes. Great advice.
Michael, thank you very much for your time.
Michael:  My pleasure, Kevin.

The White family story – Brian White

Kevin:  I’m delighted that our featured guest this week is Brian White. Brian is the joint chairman of the Ray White Group – third generation leader of the Ray White Group, in fact.
We’ll talk a little bit about the company history, but firstly, Brian, welcome to the show and thanks for your time.
Brian:  Lovely, Kevin. It’s lovely to be back with you.
Kevin:  Thank you. Founded in 1902, a great history the company has, Brian. I know there are a lot of tremendous stories of how the family has developed over the years, as well.
Brian:  Yes, it is. It’s a source of great pride for us, and the sense of family history permeates so much of what we do. We actually describe ourselves as a family company comprised of family businesses. When you look at the structure of our network, a huge percentage are family businesses, as well. Many of them now are into succeeding generations, and that’s very satisfying.
Kevin:  How has that come about, Brian? Has that been by design, or is it just the way it’s developed?
Brian:  I think there’s an inclination for most people, when you’ve created a business, to see whether it’s going to suit the new generation. One of the lessons I learned some time ago to the question of why are there so few family businesses succeeding to the third or fourth generation? Why is the percentage of businesses in the fourth generation – which we are now, of course – less than 1%? Why? Because such wonderful things happen if you can make it work.
Most of the comments come back as it’s such a shame that families don’t try a bit harder to resolve particular issues. There are always issues that come up, of course – different ambitions, different skill sets – and the comment being that it’s such a shame that families, in the words of one memorable advisor, don’t try harder.
When the [2:26 inaudible] does happen, the sense that you’re building on something that started a long time ago and that your forebears would be proud to be shown is a fantastic feeling.
Kevin:  It must be a great feeling. I know that Paul, your brother, is joint chairman of the group, as well. It must be great pride for you personally to see Sam and Dan, two of your three boys, coming through and also very active in the company.
Brian:  Yes, and my third son, Ben, is very much involved in the real estate space. He’s very interested in the whole property management sphere. It’s very good.
Kevin:  Let’s go back to your earliest memories when you were growing up with your dad, Alan, and some of your early memories of your grandfather, Ray. What were the conversations like around your kitchen table when you were growing up? Was it all about property?
Brian:  Property was a huge part of it. Everyone would talk about their day, what happened, and I can remember my grandfather talking at a very distinct… His speech was quite a drawl. He was describing the sense of joy that he constantly got when he felt that he provided value to someone, when someone had actually been helped or achieved an answer, particularly for someone he was selling on behalf of.
That started this really strong message that we seek to be proud of every transaction. That all came from Ray himself. It’s something that has been talked a lot about, and it’s has continued to this very day.
Kevin:  It’s funny; I was talking to someone from your group just the other day, in fact, and I quite often have quipped over the years about Ray being in the business. He was telling me that someone actually came in the other day and asked to speak to Ray. The name is still very much alive, isn’t it?
Brian:  Yes, it is. I had someone the other day who said, “By the way, I’m a good friend of Ray.” I think he’s [4:55 inaudible] a bit there.
Kevin:  That’s the [5:00 inaudible] use of the name, isn’t it? Brian, I know that you move around the group a lot. How many offices is it now? Is it a thousand?
Brian:  Over a thousand, yes.
Kevin:  I know you move around the group a lot and you’re always seeking those great stories and getting in touch with people who have had dealings with Ray White. That must bring you a lot of delight. Does it?
Brian:  It does. It really does. The whole process of selling property… Obviously, we sell a lot of residential property but our market in the non-residential space probably would surprise a lot of people. It’s such a big issue and to go about it in a way that people would then say, “I feel so much relief,” yes, I think is good or better than I ever dreamed possible. It’s a constant joy, Kevin.
Kevin:  You used the word “pride,” and I know there’s a huge amount of pride there, too. I sometimes wonder, as a real estate agent, when I go to a party and people know that you’re in real estate, the first thing they say is “How’s the market?” You must get that, too. The leader of a big group like yours, what questions do they ask you?
Brian:  “How’s the market?” is obviously the first one. It’s such a big part of everyone’s wealth structure. You might remember we did play a significant role in the last federal election and the concept of negative gearing. We were really concerned with the impact of that on people’s assets.
The wealth of Australian families is fundamentally built around the family home. In essence, that’s the case. The wonderful history of that wealth being generated to the benefit of people who have then downsize or go through a different process and how critical that has been in giving them a genuine satisfaction right through their lives, it’s so important.
I suppose a better way, Kevin, to say it is the happiness of society is really largely dependent upon the real estate market.
Kevin:  Absolutely. Like you, I’ve heard of a lot of people who have done extremely well out of real estate, just buying a property for the family to live in. Over the years, we’ve become very used to that.
For a moment, if we could, let’s talk about investment in real estate, Brian. What typical questions are you asked about “I want to invest in real estate; where should I be buying, or what should I be doing?” What are some of your tips for property investors?
Brian:  Are we talking residential or commercial?
Kevin:  Yes, purely residential.
Brian:  The big thing is… I remember a story very clearly. A friend of mine asked me – and I was really just entering the industry – “There’s an auction coming up, and I want to know what it’s worth. Would you find out what it’s worth so that I know and I’m not going to bid more than I should?”
I did all of the research and so forth, and I was happy with the recommendation I gave to my friend. We went to the auctioneers and he missed out; someone paid more. It was a house that he wanted; it was perfect for his family and he never, ever found another home that fitted him the way this home did, and it caused a lot of unhappiness.
I’ve changed my recommendation as time has gone on. If there’s a house that you want, then make sure you get it. You might pay too much, but the proof of time passing and what that does in terms of value and just the enjoyment. Homes create families.
There’s a certain type of home in particular locations that are close to either friendship structures or a particular school. There’s a whole range of bearings that come into mind. I’ve increasingly said to some of you, “If that house is for you, make sure you get it.”
Kevin:  Sorry to interrupt you. This is one of the dilemmas in real estate. A valuer can put a value on a property done analytically, and they’re probably quite right, but a property really is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. Someone who really wants it for their family and they’re prepared to pay a little bit more for it, really means that’s what it’s worth, isn’t it?
Brian:  That’s the beautiful thing about our industry. People often try to say “We can decide what property is worth. You don’t need a real estate agent, that that’s now all technically done.” That’s just so far off the mark. Finding the person who really wants that particular home – for all sorts of different reasons – is the art form that our industry excels in.
Kevin:  Move forward one generation now, and you’re sitting around the table with the kids. They’re young; they’re going through school. What’s your conversation about property? What do you say to them? What are their experiences?
Brian:  My children, as they were going through their teenage years, they were obviously fully aware of what I did. They used to come to auctions when I would do an auction on Sunday morning. Nothing like taking my kids along and having them at that, sometimes trying to quiet them down, or there might even be a squabble and then “My God, how do I to stop an auction and look after some children?” Those are a couple of old memories.
I think young people are growing up, aren’t they? The thought of having a home and leaving home is all pretty early on. I think, certainly in my case, the assumption that you would one day buy a home and live in your own home, that was just taken as a given.
Kevin:  That’s right. It was taken as a given; you’re right. I remember a story that you told me once. I think you had Sam on your shoulders when you were calling an auction. I don’t know if you remember that.
I remember you telling me about the dilemma of explaining to him because he didn’t see anyone bid and maybe you took a bid off a tree or something. I don’t know. Those were the days when we were able to do that sort of thing. Not speaking too much out of turn here, but explaining that concept to your son must have been an interesting experience.
Brian:  It wasn’t just myself. The children were close to their grandfather, and he was the best auctioneer I had ever come across.
Kevin:  This was Alan?
Brian:  Yes. I guess all of these experiences seep in, don’t they? I know that in those times, at any road, children thought that you don’t need to buy a house. When I was growing up, there was this thing of saying, “You’re better not buying a house because you’re better putting money in the stock market and renting. Renting is much better, really, than buying a house.” That’s found to be terrible advice.
How many homes do you live in? All of us have moved through from the opening home to further homes. I think it’s often not appreciated just how many homes most people do own – or the average person does own – during their lifetime. It’s four or five.
Kevin:  It’s actually more than that. I do know the stats, and in our case, Caroline and I, we’ve been through something like 24 homes. I remember talking to I think it was Bernard Salt or Mark McCrindle, one of those. We were talking about how many homes go through on average and it’s something like 15 or 16 in their lifetime.
Brian:  That’s including the parents, where they lived as children? I see. If you count that home, as well.
Kevin:  I think Caroline and I have actually purchased about 24 on our own. We don’t own them anymore, of course. I wish we did.
Brian:  Goodness.
Kevin:  Brian, success: what does that mean to you? Define that for me.
Brian:  Success is living to your hopes and expectations. I think you quite quickly realize that success in strictly monetary terms doesn’t bring a lot of satisfaction. I’m at an age now where a lot of my friends are now retired and there’s not one of them I would want to swap places with in the sense of just being continually active, feeling you have a role, feeling you can make a contribution. That’s success to me.
Kevin:  Great talking to you, Brian. I appreciate you giving us so much of your valuable time. Thank you. It’s a delight to talk to you.
Brian:  Thanks, Kevin. Beautiful.

Buying part of my neighbour’s land – Ken Raiss

Kevin:  This time, we’re going to answer a question from Darryl, who writes and says, “If I’m doing a subdivision on someone else’s block of land (I’m buying their back yard), what tax implications do the original owners have, assuming it is the principal place of residence, and never been rented, etc.? That is, are they required to pay capital gains tax? And does it make a difference if it’s before September 1985 or after September 1985, assuming the person has been living in the property over 12 months?”
Wow. Okay, a number of issues there, I guess. But no doubt, the man who will answer them quite easily, Ken Raiss, from Metropole Wealth Advisory
G’day, Ken.
Ken:  G’day, Kevin. I hope things are well.
Kevin:  Yes, they are indeed. Now, what about Darryl’s question there?
Ken:  Yes, great question. Well, normally, when you sell your home, there is no tax, but in this case, the circumstances are different.
The main residence exemption normally applies to the building and, therefore, the land needed for that. As such, if part of the land is sold – as in this case – it is not recognized as your main residence, and that part of the land, when sold, would therefore be subject to tax.
We would need to do a calculation to determine how much tax. What we do is we go back to the original price paid for the house and land, and then work out what the land component was, and then pro-rata it to the amount of land sold.
We would then calculate the capital gains tax after taking into account all the additional costs – such as subdivision costs, lawyers, any other special planning, or whatever – to then calculate the capital gain. If they’ve held it more than 12 months, you’d get the normal 50% capital gains tax discount. But if they had bought it before capital gains tax legislation came in – i.e. September 1985 – then there would be no tax.
So, we need to get some pencil and paper out and do the sums.
Kevin:  Would you call a valuer in to do that, Ken?
Ken:  Look, you would, but they’d have to obviously go back to the date of purchase, subtract the building cost to get the land components, and then pro-rata it. So, if there were 700,000 square meters of land and you sold half of it, 50% of those costs would go to the back yard that’s sold.
You’d need to do that proper evaluation because you have to understand the building cost at the time of purchase, the cost for the building, and therefore, the residual being for the land.
Kevin:  Yes, okay. Well, I guess the bottom line question here from Darryl was whether or not tax is payable, and the answer to that is yes, it is.
Ken:  Correct, unless, as he made out, it was bought before the capital gains tax legislation came in.
Kevin:  Yes, very clear. Ken, thank you so much for your time. Ken Raiss from Metropole Wealth Advisory
Thanks, Mate.
Ken:  A pleasure.

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