NSW budget fails first home buyers: REINSW

The decision by the New South Wales government not to reintroduce the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for existing properties has failed first home buyers, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW).

REINSW president Malcolm Gunning said the increase in the threshold of the $15,000 FHOG on new properties to $750,000 from $650,000 in the budget was welcomed. However, it only recognises the existing entry level of new properties.

“We believe Treasurer Andrew Constance and Premier Mike Baird are only going halfway to support first home buyers, and the NSW government should have broadened the grants to include existing properties,” he said

“The treasurer and premier are out of touch with the wills and desires of first home  buyers. Providing incentives to first home buyers of existing properties provides a more affordable entry point where they can add value.

“The NSW government is not taking advantage of the large number of properties that are on prime real estate and in urgent need of the care and enthusiasm first home buyers can provide,” he added.

Calls from the REINSW to review transfer duty rates were also vindicated in the recent NSW budget.

According to the REINSW, the government had expected duty on residential property market transfers to increase by 20.5 per cent.

However, revenue from residential property market transfers is now estimated to have increased by $938 million, or 35 per cent, to $5,898,000 compared to the original budget estimate in 2013/2014.

“Almost $1 billion of extra funding has come out of the property market. It is time to review stamp duty rates for the first time in 40 years and give the extra incentives to first home buyers and older Australians,” Mr Gunning said.

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