Brokers divided as real estate group calls for reinstatement of FHB incentives

REINSW has renewed its call for the reinstatement of first home buyer incentives for existing properties - but brokers are sending a mixed response



The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales (REINSW) is calling on the NSW Treasurer to reinstate first home buyers incentives for purchasers of existing properties in the 2013 Budget, due to be released on June 18, 2013, but the state’s broker network isn’t so sure.

REINSW president, Christian Payne, says the organisation is calling for not just a reinstatement of the first home buyer incentives removed in 2012, but for additional opportunities to assist first home buyers.

“It is not too late for the NSW government to reverse its decision to abolish from January 1, 2012 the stamp duty exemption/concession and from October 1, 2012, the $7000 grant for those buying existing properties. The new grant of $15,000 (which will drop to $10,000 from January 1, 2014) for first home buyers who purchase or build a new home for not more than $650,000 that was introduced on October 1, 2012, has clearly failed. First home buyers are sitting on their hands.”

However, Home Loan Experts director, Otto Dargan, says the reinstatement of first home buyer incentives for existing properties would be an ill-considered move.

“Housing isn’t in extremely dire straits at the moment and with interest rates so low, there’s already quite a big incentive for people to buy houses. So I don’t believe that bringing in the first home owner’s grant right now…is appropriate; maybe later, at another time when the economy really needs it.”

That being said, Dargan would like to see stamp duty waved for first home buyers, as he believes it’s a ‘major barrier’ for many people entering the property market.

But not all broking channels oppose the proposition. Citigroup head of marketing, product and strategy, mortgages, Belen Lopez Denis, says the reintroduction of first home owner grants to

#pb# Lopez Denis also says the current scheme has created an inflationary impact on new dwellings, making them even more unaffordable than before.

“Expanding the grant to existing properties will expand the choices for this segment and permit access to more affordable options to enter into the property market.  Although a first home owners grand will not be enough for this segment to enter into the market, it’ll definitely be a key contributor to stimulate this segment.”

Finsure CEO, John Kolenda, goes one step further, saying FHBs looking at purchasing new properties also need additional help.

“I believe we need to reinstate packages for both existing and new with a bigger incentive for new homes. That segment of the market has been in the doldrums for a few years and any worthwhile incentive would be welcome to support a struggling economy.”

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!