It seems every one is constantly talking about property. The property market is not a new topic, it has been the subject of family lunches and dinner parties with friends for decades - and probably centuries - and the subject of many family and partnership disputes along the way.

The current hype is the pressure the Royal Commission is having on lending and the cost of housing compared to the average income.

My father bought his first house in the late 1960s in Sydney's innerwest.

He spent the equivalent of his annual salary, $7,500 and got a two-bedroom home.

Today, in 2018, the average house price in Sydney is $1,100,000 and the average salary is $80,000.

Housing affordability in Sydney is an issue because the numbers do not stack up.

With the greatest respect to the generations that shaped this nation, yes, we know you paid interest rates of over 20 per cent, however, your loans were the equivalent to your annual salary not 14 times your annual salary which is what we are facing some 60 years later. 

Due to the gap in salary and house prices, it is time to have a closer look at how the older generations can assist the younger generations.

My Nonno was a smart man.

As each of his seven sons became adults, he subdivided his property, gave them a slice of land and told them they could have it if they built on it a house.

You do not need to live in rural Sydney to make use of the same strategy to help your children get into the property market.

Perhaps you can subdivide your property or build a duplex?

For the cost of construction you can save your children the cost of buying the land.

The government recently announced the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code allowing one and two storey dual occupancies, manor houses and terraces to be carried out under a fast track complying development approval.

As at July 9 2018, two councils have deferred the implementation of the Code as the Councils assess the effect of the Code on their local government area.

Maybe you have a single story house that can be renovated into two homes on one title?

If you have a big yard, the two-bedroom granny flat for your children now and you in the future is a great starter for the younger generation with dual use for your old age in the future.

Perhaps you have an investment property that can be developed, why not consider a joint venture with your children to give them that financial boost to launch forward.

If your children are already in the property market, perhaps you have a family-sized house and your son or daughter has a one-bedroom unit, you could swap?


With your principal place of residence fully paid off, no debts and no headaches, why would you do any of this?

Why would you put your estate at risk to your young and reckless children?

Why offer the generation with the greatest divorce rate an opportunity to bankrupt you?

If properly structured, any strategy to assist your children get into the property market can be de-risked, even their divorce.

If you are funding their entry into the property market there is no need to be shy about asking your children to sign a mortgage or loan agreement documenting funds borrowed from you and setting out a mechanism to repay the same.

If you are going into partnership with your children where they develop your property into a duplex or dual occupancy or multi dwelling you must document the transaction in particular if you are helping one of two or more children and not the other.

Going to all this trouble not only means you will help the younger generation get into more than just the property conversation however more importantly it may mean that you can stay in your own home longer, with your children and grand children a stone's throw away. 

Going back to my Nonno's master plan of subdivision, when there was no land left for the last of his seven sons he transferred his house and land to his youngest son and gave himself a life estate. 

There are many ways to skin a rabbit and these are just a few idea on how the older can help the youger generations get into property.

With the right legal structure and documents to support the arrangments, helping the younger generations may just well have more than a little upside.