First home owners hit ‘a boost for city sprawl’
First-homebuyers who do not want to build a new home will no longer get $3000 from July 1 after the State Government axed the first home owners grant for existing houses.
The Government expects to save $109 million over four years from the change, which does not affect first-homebuyers who buy new properties.
Those who build a new home will still get a $10,000 grant.
Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey was critical of scrapping the $3000 grant, saying first-homebuyers and property investors would be disappointed.
He said the Government’s policy of encouraging people to build new homes was flawed and would contribute to urban sprawl.
The $3000 was a significant amount of money to a first-homebuyer, so the loss of the grant was a big blow to them.
“Supply is not the issue in WA, ” Mr Airey said. “Affordability is the issue and making it harder for first-homebuyers attracted to existing stock makes no sense.”
Master Builders WA director of housing Geoff Cooper welcomed the retention of the $10,000 first homeowners grant for new homes
He said it would help support WA’s residential building industry at a time when construction levels were falling.
“Residential construction levels are retreating from their peak in WA, which threatens employment in construction, ” Mr Cooper said.
Potential first-homebuyer Brett, who is renting, said he felt ripped off by the drop from $3000 to nothing and the change meant his options were now more limited.
The 34-year-old said buying his first home was still within his reach but only because he had saved a fairly large deposit.
He believed others with less in savings would be priced out of the market.
“Building is an option but I don’t want to do that because the only place I could afford is an hour and a half away in traffic, ” Brett said.
“I’d prefer to stay in the city because I work in East Perth.
“I feel ripped off by the change, but I guess that’s the way it’s going to be now.”
© The West Australian
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