Queensland first home buyer grants remain for new apartment buyers

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland wanted the $15,000 First Home Owners’ Grant to be extended to beyond those who are purchasing or building a new home

Queensland first home buyer grants remain for new apartment buyers
Queensland first home buyer grants remain for new apartment buyers

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has expressed disappointment the state government's budget this week did not extend its First Home Owners’ Grant beyond new home buyers.

“We believe the $15,000 First Home Owners’ Grant should be extended to beyond those who are purchasing or building a new home,” the REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said.

“With the costs of new construction skyrocketing, giving first home buyers support to purchase existing housing (to the same current value of less than $750,000) will expose them to more affordable pricing options. The current grant significantly limits buying options and choice.”

The government stuck to its $15,000 First Home Owners’ Grant, which has attracted record interest, and the $5000 Regional Home Building Boost Grant.

The treasurer Cameron Dick said since the beginning of the pandemic Queensland had set the pace in Australia for dwelling investment, approvals and home lending.

“Together the First Home Owners’ Grant and the Regional Home Building Boost have seen our government pay $162 million to more than 11,400 Queensland applicants this financial year alone, which is boosting our housing supply and creating more jobs.”

Ms Mercorella said she was also disappointed the government had not acted on stamp duty reform as other jurisdictions have done. 

The REIQ has advocated a 10-year phase-out of this economically inefficient and volatile tax.

“With an estimated 340,000 property transactions foregone due to stamp duty each year, we believe its abolition would maximise housing access and choice for buyers,” she said.

“The abolition of stamp duty on business sales would help to remove financial barriers and encourage more sales.”

However, Ms Mercorella said the REIQ was broadly supportive of the budget’s direction in supporting Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery.

The REIQ welcomed increased social housing and infrastructure spending in the 2021-22 budget.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella welcomed the announcement of a $1 billion Housing Investment Fund to drive new housing supply and $1.8 billion over four years to increase social housing supply and to upgrade the existing social housing portfolio.

“We welcome what is believed to the be the largest investment in social housing since World War II,” Ms Mercorella said. 

The REIQ also welcomed the boost to infrastructure spending, with the government allocating $14.7 billion in 2021-22, with 61.2 per cent of funds to be spent outside Greater Brisbane.

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.

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