Investment decisions shouldn't hinge on election campaign

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Investors have been warned not to confuse political posturing with fact in the lead up to the Federal Election on 2 June.

With the possibility that housing taxation arrangements such as negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount could be altered after polling day, there is likely to be heavy campaigning from all side on those issues, but like all property decisions investors should make sure they aren’t misled.

“One thing I would say to people is to not confuse discussion and conjecture with facts,” Rich Harvey, chief executive officer of propertybuyer.com.au, said.

“There’s going to be a lot of debate in the lead up to the election, but it’s important people try to find out what is actually being proposed, rather than just listen to speculation and let that influence any decisions they make,” Harvey said.

While speculation and scare campaigns might dissuade some investors from being active in the market between now and the election, Harvey said he can’t see any real reason why prepared investors should put things on hold.

“Traditionally it’s been that people put things on hold after the election is called, but I don’t particularly think that’s a necessary thing to do. Malcolm Turnbull has set the date and we’re not going to see a really long and drawn out campaign, which gives people some certainty.

“I actually think this period can actually offer investors some real opportunities. This year in particular I think we might see a surge in activity between the budget and the election if the government announces any possible changes and people want to get in before they come into effect.”

For those who do elect to wait until after the election to make a move, Paul Wilson, founder of buyers' agency We Find Houses, said they are likely to be those who weren’t ready to make a decision anyhow.

“A lot of people get intention and action confused. It’s important to have the intention to go and do something, but at some stage to actually take some action,” Wilson said.

“They’ll say I had the intention to do something and then the election or something comes along and they use that as a reason to prolong things,” he said.

Like Harvey, Wilson said those investors who are properly prepared shouldn’t be deserting the market.

“In the past we’ve seen people hit the pause button in this period, but for me there’s nothing that really makes investing right now an unjustifiable decision if you’re prepared.

“If you have a strong strategy and you look at the policies being proposed by the parties and you think that it’s the right decision, then I can’[t think of why you shouldn’t take action.”

Similar to Wilson, Matthew Lewison, director of OpenCorp, believes those that sit pat during the election campaign have likely been doing so for some time already.

“At the moment there are a lot of people sitting on the fence and they have been since it was first announced that there was going to be some tax reform and all the commentary that’s flowed around that about negative gearing and those sorts of things,” Lewison said.

“Setting the election date will reinforce that decision for them and they’ll stay sitting on the fence, but I don’t think it’s going to knock others out of the market right now. There will still be a lot of people who will look at it and say if I can service the loan then I’ll go ahead with my decision.”
 

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