Tag Archives: leveraged rental property

How important are rental yeilds

How important is rental yield when investing?

When it comes to buying investment property, is rental yield the iron-clad indicator you can take to the bank? Or is it another statistic that can mislead or misrepresent the potential of a property?

If you’re looking for investment property, consider rental yield as one tool in your kit, albeit an important tool. It indicates the possible annual return on investment, over time, in comparison to the purchase price.

Rental yield is calculated thus:

Weekly rent x 52
Purchase price of property

Typically, weekly rent is around .1% of the purchase property, so the yield on a typical investment property is calculated thus:

$400 x 52
———————  = 5.2%

Because it doesn’t include a host of other variables, such as cost of repairs, depreciation, insurance, property management, and rates, investors should not look to yield to determine whether a property will be either positively or negatively geared. This can only be achieved through developing a cash flow projection.

Neither does the yield figure indicate or factor in possible capital growth. In fact, on many occasions, a property with high yield will be likely to offer low capital growth overtime and visa-versa (although there are exceptions).

For example, many investment properties in Australian mining areas are currently offering yields of over 8%, however the prospect of long-term capital gain – which what ultimately investors are seeking – is slim.

On the way to choosing an investment property, a high yield is important, but not to be used in isolation when making the decision.

The Holy Grail when it comes to investment property is a high yield dwelling in an area that promises capital gains. Throw in low maintenance costs and a great Property Manager and you have the full package!

“Negative Gearing” Explained

There has been a bit of discussion on negative gearing in both the Australian and New Zealand media lately. So what exactly is negative gearing, how does it work and what are the pros and cons to having a negatively geared investment property?

What is negative gearing?

In a nutshell negative gearing is when a property investor borrows funds to purchase an investment property, and the cost of holding and managing that investment property is greater than the gross income the property brings in. Costs also included tax depreciation on the property and interest charged to the loan, but not the cost of the principal (capital repayments).

In Australia and New Zealand, costs incurred in earning income are generally tax deductible, so negatively geared properties afford investors certain concessions.

How does negative gearing work?

According to taxpayer.com.au, if an investor has a net salary after tax deductions of $50,000 and borrowed $102,000 at 10% interest a year to buy a property. Income from this investment property for the year comes in at $6,240 (which is after deductible expenses other than interest).

Taxable salary $50,000
plus net rental receipts $6,240
Total assessable income $56,240
less interest deduction -$10,200
Taxable income $46,040
Tax payable (excluding Medicare) $7,362

The tax payable on the $50,000 net salary without the negatively geared investment property would otherwise be $8,850, so $1,488 less has been paid in tax.

For more information on negative gearing in New Zealand, visit ird.govt.nz.

When to use a negative gearing strategy

If you have the funds to cover the shortfall between the cost of holding the property and the rental income, then you may be able to purchase a negatively geared property.

Negatively geared properties have certain tax benefits as detailed above.

Holding a negatively geared rental property long-term may see the investment gain capital growth, or become a positively geared property if the local rental market changes. However there are no guarantees which is why this strategy is sometimes called speculative investing.

The very nature of negative gearing means your investment property is essentially being held at a loss.

Negative gearing requires you to have the income to make up the shortfall between the cost of holding the property and the rental income, so if this shortfall is made up of income from elsewhere this strategy may not be suited to those close to retirement or about to leave the workforce.


While the debate on whether or not positively or negatively geared investment properties are the better option for investors, the truth is there is no definite answer. Both have their merits and drawbacks, and both cash-flow structures are currently possible in both Australia and New Zealand.

It really comes down to your financial situation and the type of investment property you are considering.


There are two schools of thought – one is capital growth the other is positive cash flow, negative gearing probably appeals more to those looking for eventual capital growth – as some areas with promising capital growth opportunities don’t necessarily promise positive cash flow.