Industry bodies are lobbying against the removal of first home owner grants (FHOG), with Tasmania joining the growing list of states not providing the bonus to existing homes.
Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Peter Bushby said the list of states that are shelving the grant is a growing concern.
“Governments of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and now Tasmania have either ceased providing assistance to first home buyers purchasing established housing or have indicated that they will be ceasing to do so by July 2014,” he said.
“It ignores the evidence that 80 per cent of first home buyers have a clear preference for established housing.”
Mr Bushby claims the decisions to remove the FHOG is the reason behind falling first home owner numbers, despite favourable conditions.
“The impact of the decisions by the state governments is clear in the plummeting number of first home buyers," he said.
“Despite cuts in the official interest rate by the RBA to levels not seen for decades, the proportion of first home buyers decreased to 14.2 per cent in March 2013.”
Kate Gardiner and her husband Darryl have been actively looking for a home to purchase for the last 18 months in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney, where they already live with six year-old son Tyson.
“We are ready to buy as we worked hard to save the initial deposit for a house. However, we have been restricted by the lack of stamp duty and the grant assistance, which was available to all first home buyers prior to the change last year,” Mrs Gardiner said.
“Since the changes to the first home buyers grant, we have juggled our personal finances and life as a family to come up with an extra $25,000 to pay the stamp duty.
“Despite this we are still only half way there,” she said.
“If it weren't for the cuts to first home owner grants for existing dwellings and the abolishment of stamp duty concessions, we would have been able to purchase a home by now, but instead we are still in the dire position of juggling private rental, savings and a family.”