Investment property: the gift that keeps on giving?

The holiday season is known as a time of overindulging and overspending; new figures show that the average family splurges between $1,500 and $2,500 in the name of being festive, although for many this figure is a great deal higher.

And as Erik Bigalk, founder and creative director of Smart Solutions PR observes: “Often a fair portion of this goes toward rashly bought gifts that will either only offer short term enjoyment, be neglected eventually or make their way to the garage sale or St Vincent pile before the new year is out.”

Bigalk makes the case that families ought to rethink their usual Christmas splurge and instead “buy less, give smaller, but more meaningful gifts, eat less and healthier and gift [their families] something that can keep on giving for years to come – a property.”

Marion Mays, founder and director of property investing mentoring firm Thalia Stanley, is of the same mind. Her suggestion is that instead of excessive holiday indulgence, families should put their funds towards the purchase of investment property. When thoroughly researched and well-bought, the holding costs for investment property can be as little as $20 per week, says Mays.

“If you think about what a property can do in terms of return, growth, taxation, savings and creating an asset for the whole family to benefit from in the long term, it surely outweighs the short-term joy of living it up big over the festive season,” Mays said.

Statistics from ASIC’s Money Smart website show that when it comes to paying for the Christmas blowout, the majority of Australians (60 per cent) use savings while 20 per cent charge their expenses on their credit cards, increasing their debt.

“Looking at the world we live in, it seems that we don’t really need more consumerism, as in consuming more stuff, but smarter use of our buying power. Be it more meaningful and sustainable gifts or purchases, or why not something more substantial like an investment property?” said Mays.

She points out that one of the benefits of property hunting in December is that you beat the crowds of New Year’s resolution-makers and may be able to snap up a great property while the market is still relatively quiet.

“The beginning weeks of the new year are always extra busy when it comes to the property market, be it for investment or home occupiers. Why not beat the rush, get in early and put a property under your Christmas tree this year?” Mays said.

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