Raine & Horne reacts to state budgets

Property giant Raine & Horne says the Northern Territory’s budget is a welcome boost for first home buyers (FHBs), but the Western Australian government’s decision not to reinstate some subsidies for buyers is an opportunity lost.

The 50 per cent stamp duty discount announced in the Northern Territory’s recent budget has now come into effect. It applies to established properties valued up to $450,000, and is capped at $10,000 for more expensive properties.

The $26,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for the purchase of new homes remains in place.

Glenn Grantham, general manager of Raine & Horne Darwin, said the new concession will create the perfect storm for FHBs at a time of easing house prices in the capital, as well as historic-low interest rates.

“This will get more first home buyers into the market, which is excellent policy-making in light of the low volumes we’ve experienced over the last two years,” he said.

Mr Grantham said the number of inquiries from FHBs has picked up significantly since the budget announcement, with housing markets in Palmerston expected to be the major beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the WA government’s decision not to reinstate the $3,000 FHOG for the purchase of established homes in its 2016-17 budget is an opportunity lost, according to Raine & Horne’s general manager for WA, Craig Abbott.

“Many first home buyers have a preference for Perth’s inner and middle-ring suburbs so they can be closer to their jobs,” he said.

“For many, this means securing an established house or apartment rather than a new property, which are more common on the city’s fringes.”

Mr Abbott said the real estate group has seen a drop of almost 9 per cent in the number of FHBs securing established homes as a result of the WA government’s decision to cut the $3,000 grant in last year’s budget.

“Tragically, some of these first home buyers are being lost to the property market, as they prefer to stay in rental properties closer to work and the entertainment delights offered by inner Perth,” he said.

[Related: Raine & Horne encourages more winter auctions]

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