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Empty nests could be nest eggs

Australians are sitting on some potentially valuable property that is not realising its value according to David Nitschke from First National Pope Nitschke.  The recent Census included lots of interesting information, but the big surprise was the increase in the number of empty homes in Australia.

While the number of occupied dwellings has grown by 7.7% over the past five years, it has not matched the 8.3% increase in population.  10.7% of Australia's houses are unoccupied.

“There are a number of reasons why this could happen,” David Nitschke said.

“Older family members move into retirement homes and empty nesters downsize, or, for some other reason the home is left empty.”

Houses are also often left empty when owners have bought a new property or had to move for work. They frequently have not had time or been able to sell their own house before needing to move.

“When families are not able to agree on what to do with these properties, they are often left empty when they could otherwise be used as an investment, even if it is only for a year,” Mr Nitschke said.  “The obvious thing to do is to sell the property or have one of the family move in.

“But if that still causes tension, then at the very least the property should be rented out until the family can agree on what should happen with the property.  All families need to do is agree on an agent, or other third party, and let them do the rest.  They can then rent the property and the money can be put into a trust or other account until a decision is reached on the best course of action.

“Property is the source of most Australians' wealth and it is important these investments are used to create wealth all through their lives”.