Attracting first home buyers is key if the Northern Territory government is serious about having an economy worth $40 billion by 2030, according to one industry leader.
Glenn Grantham, general manager at Raine & Horne Darwin, said the territory’s leadership needs to align itself with the federal government by introducing measures and schemes that encourage first home ownership in the region.
“Taking a leaf out of federal politics and readdressing first home buyer initiatives can profoundly impact real estate markets in Darwin and the broader economy,” he said.
“At the federal level, encouraging first-timers to jump off the rental treadmill was a focus for both major parties during the recent campaign.
“Whether it was Labor’s Help to Buy or the outgoing government’s pledge to allow first home buyers to use their superannuation to purchase a property, both parties recognised the need to assist entry-level buyers.”
Mr Grantham believes the current First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) of $10,000 for new homes only is a very limited offering for a government that plans to increase economic growth within the state and has called for newly appointed Chief Minister Natasha Fyles to either reduce stamp duty or offer a grant for established homes.
“We need something to get the first-time market going and attract and keep younger people in the territory. The government is planning for the Northern Territory to have an economy worth $40 billion by 2030 and attracting and keeping young people is central to this objective,” he said.
“But to keep young workers here, we need to provide some housing incentives that make it attractive for them to stay.”
Mr Grantham also implored the government to demand accountability and continuity from developers. He believes that so long as no land taxes are paid until the land is titled, developers will move at a “whim”, to the detriment of the rest of the industry.
“The government has released large tracts of land to private developers to meet the demands of the NT’s growing population,” he said. “However, private developers can develop these parcels whenever they like and usually only when the demand bucket overflows. We need more accountability placed on developers to enforce continuity that ensures there are enough vacant blocks for sale.”
He said that without government intervention to incentivise and urge developers to operate efficiently and release newly developed land in a timely fashion, stock shortages would continue to plague the Northern Territory and create a hindrance on the whole market.