A lack of first home buyers shows the federal government must do more to support them, which includes allowing them to dip into their superannuation, the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has said.
“Despite the interest rate decreases last year, the number of first home buyers is the lowest it’s been since 2004,” said REIA president Peter Bushby.
“Adding to that, three state governments have abolished the first home owner grant (FHOG) for those purchasing established dwellings.”
In its pre-budget submission, the REIA has called for a boost of the FHOG.
“In 1999, as part of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA), states and territories agreed to provide assistance to first home buyers,” Mr Bushby continued. “Now, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales wish to amend the IGA, effectively discriminating against the vast majority of first home buyers.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) stated that in 2009/2010, 82 per cent of first home buyers with a mortgage purchased established dwellings.”
The REIA has also asked the government to consider first home buyers having access to their superannuation in order to purchase their property, a scheme the REIA claims has been highly successful in Singapore.
“In Singapore, homebuyers may use part of their accumulated compulsory salary deductions to purchase housing and it’s been enormously successful. Homeownership in Singapore is at 87.2 per cent compared to around 70 per cent in Australia.
“There’s so much more that can be done in order to assist first home buyers and REIA urges the government to uphold the intention of the IGA for all Australians.”