Napoleon* called England a nation of shopkeepers. Australians, on the other hand are a nation of loss-making landlords.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released its Taxation Statistics for the 2009-10 financial year, which once again revealed that Australia is a nation of loss-making landlords.
According to the ATO, there were 1,751,679 property investors declared to the ATO in 2009-10 - representing one in seven taxpayers - an increase of 59,235 from the 2008-09 financial year.
Total losses on investment properties were $4.810 billion in 2009-10, or $2746 per property investor, down from $6.528 billion ($3857 per investor) in 2008-09.
Of the 1,751,679 property investors recorded by the ATO in 2009-10, 63% or 1,110,922 were "negatively geared", meaning that holding costs (eg, interest payments, maintenance, and other costs) outweighed income from rents.
Here is the kicker.
Of these negatively geared investors, nearly three-quarters earned less than $80,000 in 2009-10, and the average loss was $9132 per negatively geared investor, or $176 per week.
Not even higher income earners. Ponzi lemmings?
Not only are investment property holdings In Australia concentrated in lower-to-middle income groups, but also older age cohorts.
Wait until they really start dumping them to fund their retirements.
*Thanks Anon. I confused my recall of ambitious ex corporals (only a nickname for Bonaparte). Let history decide who is right, but at least if you read this blog you can't whine no one saw it coming.