Property investment jargon explained

Are you new to the world of property investing?

If you’ve ever found yourself scratching your head at the complex lingo, we’re here to turn that confusion into clarity. Imagine dazzling your dinner guests with your newfound knowledge, effortlessly chatting about the ins and outs of the market.

Negative Gearing

In simple terms, negative gearing happens when the expenses of maintaining your property—think interest repayments, council rates, and those pesky maintenance costs—outweigh the rental income it generates. Picture this: your property rakes in $25,000 in rent, but your outgoings total $35,000. You’re looking at a $10,000 shortfall. But here’s the silver lining: this could unlock a tax advantage, which is why negative gearing is a popular strategy with property investors.

Positive Gearing

As the name suggests, positive gearing is the exact opposite. It’s when your property’s income surpasses its expenses. Not only could this scenario boost your bank balance, but it also means you’ll likely pay taxes on this income. Another term you might hear is ‘cash-flow positive’—music to the ears of any investor.


Depreciation refers to the gradual reduction in the value of an asset over time. In the realm of property investment, this includes tangible items like appliances, carpets, and water heaters. These assets lose a bit of their value annually, based on a Depreciation Schedule compiled by a Quantity Surveyor. The good news? These depreciation costs might be deductible on your taxes.

Capital Gains

Capital gain is the increase in your property’s value over what you initially paid. This gain is typically realised upon selling the property. However, should your property appreciate in value, you could potentially leverage the capital gain by refinancing your loan, based on a new valuation.

Capital Gains Tax

When you sell an investment property that has appreciated in value, you’ll be liable for Capital Gains Tax. It’s crucial to report both gains and losses in your tax return, keeping the ATO happy.


Equity represents the portion of your property that you truly “own.” For instance, if your property is valued at $600,000 and your remaining mortgage balance is $100,000, your equity stands at $500,000. Equity can be a powerful tool, ofering the flexibility to secure further properties or fund home improvements.

Rental Yield

Rental yield is essentially the income your property generates from tenants, expressed as a percentage of the property’s overall value. To calculate the gross rental yield, simply multiply the weekly rent by 52, then divide by the property’s value.

Loan-to-value ratio (LVR)

LVR, is the proportion of the loan compared to the property’s value. Most lenders prefer an LVR of 80% or less, meaning you’d need a 20% deposit. Falling short of this threshold could mean paying lenders’ mortgage insurance—a safeguard for the lender, not you, and a potential extra expense.

Armed with this guide, we hope you’re feeling more at ease with the property investment jargon.

Remember, your mortgage broker is on hand to tailor your lending strategy, ensuring it aligns perfectly with your investment aspirations. Ready to dive into the property market? Please contact us for personalised support.

The material on this website has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained on this website is General Advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Before making an investment decision based on this advice you should consider, with or without the assistance of a securities adviser, whether it is appropriate to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances. In addition, the examples provided on this website are provided for illustrative purposes only. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this website, Infocus, its officers, representatives, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy in, or omission from the information contained in this website or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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