The NSW state government’s decision to only provide first home owner grants to buyers of new homes has been labelled a failure.
The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) president Christian Payne is calling on the NSW Treasurer to reinstate first home buyers incentives for purchasers of existing properties.
“We are calling on the Treasurer to not only reinstate first home buyer incentives that were removed in 2012, but to also explore additional opportunities to assist first home buyers to take their first step onto the property ladder,” REINSW president Christian Payne said.
“It is not too late for the NSW government to reverse its decision to abolish from 1 January 2012, the stamp duty exemption and from 1 October 2012, the $7,000 grant, for those buying existing properties.
“The new grant of $15,000, which will drop to $10,000 from 1 January 2014, for first home buyers who purchase or build a new home for not more than $650,000 that was introduced on 1 October 2012 has clearly failed.
“First home buyers are sitting on their hands,” Mr Payne said.
Last month, general manager of Laing+Simmons Leanne Pilkington identified stamp duty as a major factor in the sluggish market.
“The research clearly shows that the reduction or removal of stamp duty has a dramatic influence on housing transactions, with the increase in activity also leading to significantly increased government revenues,” Ms Pilkington said.
Mr Payne pointed to new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which showed the number of first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner-occupied housing finance commitments fell to 14.4 per cent in February 2013 from 15.0 per cent in January 2013.
“In fact, they have fallen from 19.4 per cent in September 2012 and all-time highs of 29.5 per cent in May 2009. At this rate, we are heading towards lows of 12.5 per cent seen in March 2004.
“The government has failed NSW first home buyers, as well as those who are ready to move to the next step on the property ladder,” Mr Payne said.
The 2013/2014 New South Wales State Budget will be delivered on Tuesday, 18 June 2013.