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$1 billion windfall from property market, NSW Budget fails first homebuyers: REINSW

17 June 2014

The decision by the New South Wales Government to not reintroduce the First Home Owners Grant for existing properties has failed first homebuyers, according to the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales.

“The increase in the threshold of the $15,000 First Home Owners Grant on new properties to $750,000 from $650,000 in today’s budget is welcomed, however it simply recognises the existing entry level of new properties,” REINSW President Malcolm Gunning said.

“We believe Treasurer Andrew Constance and Premier Mike Baird are only going half way to support first homebuyers and the NSW Government should have broadened the grants to include existing properties.

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

“It also supports the gluttony of properties in dire need of renovation and improves the lower end of the market. 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 homebuyers can provide.

“Incentives for older Australians to relocate to regional areas would have helped to free up properties in in demand locations and we will continue to lobby the government on this important area. They must follow the lead of the ACT, which has implemented such incentives,” Mr Gunning said.

Foreign investors
The 2014-15 NSW Budget includes changes to the eligibility criteria for the New Home Grant. From 1 July 2014, the grant will be restricted to Australian citizens and permanent residents. The grant will also be restricted to one grant per person, per year. 

“We applaud the move to restrict the New Home Grants to Australian citizens and the closing of the loophole which saw multiple applications for grants,” Mr Gunning said.

Transfer duty
Calls from REINSW to review transfer duty rates has been vindicated in the budget.

The government had expected duty on residential property market transfers to increase by 20.5 per cent. 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 2013-14.

“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 homebuyers and older Australians,” Mr Gunning said.

For further information or to arrange an interview with REINSW President Malcolm Gunning, please contact: Helen Hull – 0419 642 961 or