Property investment numbers dwindle

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Recently released figures from the ATO indicate that the number of people investing in property took a small nosedive in the 2008-09 tax year.

“There was a 1.5% decrease in the number of people completing rental property schedules in 2008–09,” says the ATO’s Taxation statistics 2008-09 summary.

“There were 34,001 less individuals reporting net rental income in 2008–09 than in 2007–08”.

Individuals earning between $34,000 and $80,000 represented the largest group of individuals that reported net rental income, accounting for 41.9% of investors, followed by the $6,001–$34,000 and $80,001–$180,000 brackets.

Positive gearing seems to have increased in popularity, with 34.1% of property investors reporting a net rental income greater than or equal to $0 – a rise of 3.5% the 2007-08 figure of 30.6%.

Negative gearing however remains the strategy of choice, with 65.9% of individuals with net rental income reporting a taxable loss.

Multi-property portfolios proved to be rare, with of 73% of property investors having an interest in only one rental property.

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