First Home Buyers Grant To Double?

Victoria’s real estate industry has put the pressure on the state government to double its first home buyers’ grant. New figures for 2009 showed a record number of Victorians took advantage of the government handouts.


Victorian Premier John Brumby said a record 53,730 Victorians used government grants to help buy their first home last year, breaking the previous record of 43,688 in 2001 and 41,615 in 2007.


But the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) said the number of first home buyers dropped after the federal government decreased its boost in September.


“The latest ABS housing finance figures show a direct link between the assistance and the number of first home buyers,” REIV chief executive Enzo Raimondo said in a statement. There was an 18.6 per cent drop in the number of loans to first home buyers in November.”The number of first home buyers will continue to drop as the assistance continues to be reduced,” he said.


The federal boost has now ended and the state government bonus ends on June 30, leaving first home owners with a $7,000 state grant. In its pre-budget submission to the state government, the REIV calls for the current grant to be doubled from $7,000 to $14,000, or replace it with an exemption from stamp duty.


Treasurer John Lenders said there was “little sign of Victoria’s first home buyers slowing down their enthusiasm”, with 24 per cent more purchases in December last year than December.


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