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First Home Owners' Grant boosted in Queensland

First Home Owners' Grant boosted in Queensland

$1.8 billion dollars from the 2017-18 Queensland budget will be injected into the Queensland Housing Strategy over the next ten years.

The Palaszczuk Government delivered their budget yesterday, with a big-spending focus on “creating jobs, strengthening communities and building a better future for all Queenslanders.”

The Queensland Housing Strategy is a long-term plan, and the biggest commitment to housing in Queensland’s recent history, according to the government.

They plan to invest the $1.8 billion as follows:

  • $1.2 billion to renew the existing social housing property portfolio
  • $420 million for a housing construction program to boost the supply of social and affordable housing (including $3.5 million to construct two refuges for women and children escaping domestic and family violence)
  • $75 million to progress home ownership in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • $100 million for reforms to the housing and homelessness service system

The Queensland government are also extending the First Home Owners’ Grant. They will be providing additional funding of $30 million to extend the temporary increase from $15,000 to $20,000 for a further six months.

The increased grant will be extended to eligible transactions entered into from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2017, for buying or building new houses, units or townhouses valued at less than $750,000. 

The boost has been quite popular in Queensland, with 6,353 applications worth $127.1 million received as at 31 May 2017.

However, not everyone is happy with the Budget. The Real Estate Institute Queensland (REIQ) have released a statement expressing their disappointment over several features including a refusal “to broaden the grant to include established homes in regional Queensland.”

The 2017-18 Budget does include $10 million for regional planning and program implementation. This will support a land supply monitoring program, and a strategic assessment of Queensland’s planning and environmental offsets framework for growth areas in South East Queensland.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella, however, was not convinced, stating that “additional supply in regional Queensland is going to further slow these markets and make any price recovery much longer to come into effect.”

The REIQ was also disappointed this Government has chosen to ignore advice from a range of experts on abolishing stamp duty

What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty, also known as transfer duty, is a government imposed tax which applies to certain document and transaction exchanges, such as the sale of cars, business assets and property. In the case of purchasing property, it is usually the property buyer who will pay the determined stamp duty amount

Stamp duty is an onerous fiscal burden that stifles housing mobility and many experts are in agreement, including the Henry Tax Review, that stamp duty should be replaced,” Ms Mercorella said. 

“When the cost of selling your house comes with an additional price tag of tens of thousands of dollars, it gives many people pause.”

“Empty nesters wait longer to downsize and young families wait longer to upsize and this creates inefficiencies in the housing market that are undesirable,” Ms Mercorella said.

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