Foreign buyers to be denied NSW new home owners grant

Foreign buyers to be denied NSW new home owners grant
Foreign buyers to be denied NSW new home owners grant

Foreigners’ access to the $5,000 New Home Owner Grant will be scrapped in ­tomorrow’s state budget.

Foreign investors have been able to secure $5,000 for each new home purchase. They represented 1.3% of the scheme's take-up.

The decision, heralded in today's Daily Telegraph, follows a campaign by the The Daily Telegraph since February which secured the support of Opposition Leader John ­Robertson.

The grant will be only available to individuals who are Australian citizens or permanent residents.

The Telegraph's state rounds reporter Andrew Clennell published previously unavailable data that showed some $2 million has been paid out to non-residents.

“We’re all about making sure these grants help those in our own backyard,” NSW Treasurer Andrew ­Constance told the News Ltd audience.

Since the New Home Owner Grant scheme was instituted in July 2012, there have been 429 ­recipients who are non-residents — or 1.3% of recipients.

The figures come despite NSW Premier Mike Baird expressing recent concern about the lack of official information on foreign investment residential purchases in NSW.

His concerns were made to the House of Representative inquiry into foreign ownership of residential property.

The scheme began after the government scrapped first homeowner grants for existing properties and raised them for newer properties.

There have also been a small number of multiple applications.

From now on the New Home Grant will be restricted to one grant per person per year.

Opposition Leader John ­Robertson called in February for the government to change the New Home Grant scheme.

“The O’Farrell Liberal government is paying $5000 to overseas property investors to buy homes and land in Australia – that’s money taken straight out of the pockets of young first home buyers,” Opposition Leader John Robertson said at the time on the then O'Farrell government policy.

“Young couples doing the right thing and working flat-out to save for that deposit are paying the price for the O’Farrell Liberal government’s bungling of this scheme."

Last week John Robertson noted ABS figures showed that just 1,099 first home buyers received financing to purchase a home in April 2014 – down from 1,191 in March 2014 and less than half the level of the 2,415 who received financing in March 2011 before the Liberals came to power.

“Mike Baird has been patting himself on the back over the weekend for extending the threshold for first home buyers purchasing new properties – the ABS has confirmed that he is locking more young families out of owning their own home.

“First home buyers now represent only 7.6% of the NSW housing market – they have plummeted from 18.3% share of the market in March 2011."

The Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley accused the government of giving a leg up to overseas speculators – "and people buying their second, third or tenth property."

The grant is paid as a discount on stamp duty for properties worth up to $650,000 and vacant land worth up to $450,000.

The grant will be extended to new home purchases up to $750,000 in another pre-budget advisory

The prospect of overseas non-citizens buying up newly built houses and apartments in bulk - all receiving multiple $5,000 grants under the NSW New Home Grant Scheme - was alarmingly raised in the Daily Telegraph.

It was wrapped within the now refuted suggestion that these Chinese investors were keeping first home buyers out of the property market.



Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Foreign Buyers Policy First Home Buyers New South Wales

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