The Federal Government has been congratulated on its ‘momentous step’ to increase the First Home Owners Grant to $14,000 for all first home buyers and to $21,000 for those buying new housing as their first home, under its Economic Security Strategy announced today.

All contracts entered into by June 30 next year will be eligible for the new assistance.

The Housing Industry Association expects the initiative to boost the number of dwellings built over the next year by 15,000. At present, building activity has been on the decline for the past nine months.

A local Mortgage Choice franchise owner, Janet Jenner, of Lennox Head, said it was a bold and positive move by the Government that would improve the sentiment throughout the entire property sector.

“I would think the majority of housing industry participants – from buyers to builders, real estate agents, lenders and mortgage brokers – will be excited and pleased by this historic initiative,” she said.

“Australia’s growing population, increasingly tight rental vacancy rates, slow release of land and the rising cost of building materials are all contributing to a demand for housing that is not being met as well as it could be.

“Add this to property prices that are, on average, trending upwards, and you can see why potential first home buyers are faced with a significant challenge.

“Recent ABS statistics reveal that first home buyer loan approvals have remained relatively steady at 17/18% of all approvals for some time, and below the longer-term average of 21/22%.

“The doubling of the First Home Owners Grant for all first home buyers and a tripling for those who purchase a newly-built dwelling, along with the recent significant decreases in interest rates, should provide a much-needed boost to the Australian housing market.

“The great Australian dream of owning your home is still very much a part of our mindset, and those desiring their own piece of this country will be grateful for all the assistance they can get.

“Mortgage Choice congratulates the Government on its continued demonstration of commitment to the housing affordability cause, and for first homebuyers in particular.”