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The ongoing transfer of wealth from the baby boomer generation is underscored by the pivotal role of homeownership, particularly as property prices soar, with NSW leading at an average of $1,184,500. Amidst a steady target cash rate of 4.35%, parents are increasingly pressured to aid younger generations in homeownership, especially as overall home ownership has declined from 70% to 67% over 15 years, exacerbating wealth inequality. As a tax professional, it’s crucial to understand the implications of this trend and provide guidance to both parents and their offspring.

Wealth Transfer and Home Ownership

The transfer of wealth from one generation to the next is a crucial aspect of estate planning, and home ownership often plays a central role in this process. However, with soaring housing prices and stagnant wage growth, many young Australians find themselves priced out of the property market. This financial pressure on the younger generation underscores the importance of parental assistance in achieving homeownership.

For younger individuals striving to purchase a home, the hurdles can seem insurmountable. High housing prices coupled with a stable cash rate pose significant challenges. As a result, many turn to their parents or family for financial support. While this assistance can be invaluable, it’s essential for parents to carefully consider their own financial security before extending aid.

Considerations for Parents

Parents contemplating providing financial assistance to their children must weigh the potential benefits against the risks. Cash gifts, while well-intentioned, can have unintended consequences, particularly in the event of divorce settlements. It’s imperative for parents to assess their financial situation thoroughly and consider alternative forms of support, such as loans or co-ownership arrangements.

Loan Structures

When opting for a loan arrangement, clear documentation is paramount. Enlisting legal assistance to draft formal terms is advisable, taking into account factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and contingencies for unforeseen circumstances like divorce or death.

Family Guarantees

Acting as a guarantor for a child’s mortgage comes with inherent risks, including the potential loss of parents’ property if the child defaults on payments. Parents must conduct a comprehensive assessment of their financial standing and consider equalizing assistance among siblings to mitigate any potential disparities.


Joint tenancy and tenants-in-common are viable options for property ownership involving children, each with its own set of implications. Establishing written agreements detailing ownership arrangements and addressing potential disputes is imperative to safeguard all parties involved.

Utilizing a Family Trust

Purchasing property through a family trust, with you or a related company as trustee, offers asset protection. Control of the trust can be passed to your child later, possibly without triggering significant CGT or stamp duty liabilities. However, CGT will apply to any increase in property value, and state tax issues, such as land tax and foreign beneficiary implications, must be considered.

Rent-Free Property

While providing reduced or rent-free housing may seem like a generous gesture, it’s essential to recognize that it does not contribute to the child’s long-term wealth accumulation through property ownership. Moreover, such arrangements may have significant tax implications for both parents and children, affecting deductions and CGT liabilities.

Overall, while helping children buy a home can be beneficial, careful planning and consideration of various factors are essential to avoid financial risks and maximize benefits for both parties.

Pitt Martin Group is a CPA accounting firm, providing services including taxation, accounting, business consulting, self-managed superannuation funds, auditing and mortgage & finance. We spend hundreds of hours each year on training and researching new tax laws to ensure our clients can maximize legitimate tax benefit. Our contact information are phone +61292213345 or email Pitt Martin Group is located in the convenient transportation hub of Sydney’s central business district. Our honours include the 2018 CPA NSW President’s Award for Excellence, the 2020 Australian Small Business Champion Award Finalist, the 2021 Australia’s well-known media ‘Accountants Daily’ the Accounting Firm of the Year Award Finalist and the 2022 Start-up Firm of the Year Award Finalist, and the 2023 Hong Kong-Australia Business Association Business Award Finalist.

Pitt Martin Group qualifications include over fifteen years of professional experience in accounting industry, membership certification of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (CPA), Australian Taxation Registered Agents, certified External Examiner of the Law Societies of New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia Law Trust Accounts, membership certification of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia Limited (FBAA), Registered Agents of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), certified Advisor of accounting software such as XERO, QUICKBOOKS, MYOB, etc.

This content is for reference only and does not constitute advice on any individual or group’s specific situation. Any individual or group should take action only after consulting with professionals. Due to the timeliness of tax laws, we have endeavoured to provide timely and accurate information at the time of publication, but cannot guarantee that the content stated will remain applicable in the future. Please indicate the source when forwarding this content.

By Zoe Ma @ Pitt Martin Tax