Unlocking the Mystery: What is Negative Gearing?

what is negative graring

In the realm of property investment, negative gearing is a term that often buzzes around, sparking curiosity and questions. This strategy, while commonly utilised, can be a complex concept to grasp for both novice and seasoned investors.

If you’re aiming to deepen your understanding of negative gearing and how it can impact your investment journey, you’ve landed on the right page. Let’s demystify negative gearing and explore its nuances to empower your investment decisions.

Understanding Negative Gearing: The Basics

At its core, negative gearing is a financial strategy used by property investors. But what exactly does it entail, and how does it work?

The Essence of Negative Gearing

Negative gearing occurs when the costs of owning a rental property – including interest on the loan, maintenance, and management fees – exceed the income it generates. Essentially, you are making a loss on your property.

This might sound counterintuitive at first; after all, who invests to make a loss? However, the strategy behind it is not about the immediate loss but the potential for long-term gain.

How Does it Work?

  1. Investor purchases a property: Typically with the help of a loan.
  2. Operating expenses exceed rental income: The investor incurs a financial loss.
  3. Tax benefits: The loss can often be deducted from the investor’s overall income, reducing their taxable income and, therefore, their tax liability.
  4. Long-term appreciation: The investor banks on the property’s value appreciating over time, hoping the capital gains will offset the ongoing operational losses.

The Benefits

negative gearing

Why would investors choose a strategy that operates at a loss? There are a few key reasons:

Tax Deductions

One of the most enticing aspects of negative gearing is the ability to deduct the losses incurred from your overall taxable income. For many, this can result in a significant tax return, which helps to offset the cost of the investment property.

Capital Growth Potential

The ultimate goal is capital growth. Investors accept short-term losses for the potential of a significant long-term gain when the property’s value increases and it can be sold for a profit.

The Risks

negative gearing benefits

As with any investment strategy, negative gearing comes with its share of risks:

Dependence on Property Appreciation

It relies heavily on the property increasing in value over time. If the market stagnates or declines, investors may find themselves in a precarious financial position.

Cash Flow Challenges

Carrying a negatively geared property requires the investor to cover the shortfall between the income the property generates and its expenses. This can strain the investor’s cash flow, especially if unexpected costs arise or if the property remains vacant for extended periods.

Is Negative Gearing Right for You?

is negative gearing for you

Determining whether negative gearing is a suitable strategy depends on your financial situation, risk tolerance, and investment goals. It’s essential to consider the following:

  • Long-term financial stability: Can you sustain the loss in the short term for the potential long-term gain?
  • Market trends: Is the property in a location likely to appreciate in value?
  • Tax implications: How will negative gearing affect your tax situation?


Negative gearing is a nuanced investment strategy that can offer significant benefits, including tax deductions and the potential for capital growth. However, it’s not without its risks, such as cash flow challenges and reliance on property appreciation.

As with any investment decision, thorough research and consideration of your financial circumstances are crucial. By understanding the ins and outs of negative gearing, you can make informed decisions that align with your investment strategy and goals.

Learn about positively geared investments here.

peter new profile

To put it mildly, Peter Kelly is enthusiastic about real estate. When he’s not looking at properties, or visiting potential sites, Peter can be found online at realestate. com. For him, it’s more than a job – it’s an obsession. Peter is a co-founder here at Little Fish Real Estate.