First-Home Savings Accounts (FHSA) have grown by 20 per cent in the June quarter, suggesting that confidence has swelled among aspiring first-home buyers.
The savings account initiative was introduced in 2008 by the Rudd government, but the latest figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) show the June quarter spiked from $298.3 million to $359.5 million in the savings accounts.
More than $61 million was stashed away in the accounts in the final quarter of the 2011-12 financial year according to APRA.
There are now more than 38,300 accounts with an average balance of $9386.
Seventeen banks and credit unions have offered the initiative, however the Commonwealth Bank and ANZ no longer open new accounts.
FHSAs offer several benefits to first home savers including a variable interest rate, a tax rate of 15 per cent that is paid by the FHSA provider, 17 per cent government contribution, up to a specified limit and tax-free withdrawal.
They also offer flexibility in determining how much is contributed, up to a maximum account balance cap over the life of the FHSA.