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

by Mackenzie McCarty29 Apr 2013

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

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  • by Goodo 29/04/2013 11:10:57 AM

    People talk about the property boom we had since 2000 and the introduction of the FHOG. Remember this was to ofset GST of new properties being built. Its just taken 12 years to realise that point!!!
    We did not have a property boom, instead we had a price boom.
    Prices were inflated by increased demand from poorly thought out government interference in the free market.
    Leave the FHOG on NEW properties only as it should have always been. Perhaps then we would have actually built some housing and not be facing the current shortages and hence increased price that we all face.

  • by Country Broker 29/04/2013 11:15:26 AM

    The Vic Goverment has just wiped out the 7,000 FHOG on established homes up to 600,000 after July 1st and brought forward a 40% reduction in Stamp duty WOW , but introduced a 10,000 FHOG and 40% stamp duty reduction on Stamp duty for new gomes constructions after July 1st .
    Great if you are in the City and looking to build , not so great in Regional Vic if you wanted to buy an established home . If you were purchasing an established home for say 300,000 thge saving would be $4,548 on the satmo duty that is not 7,000 the purchaser would be 2,500 worse off . This is obviously a grab for cash by the Vic and NSW goverments and a move to send First home buyers to the urban sprawl and fringe . It is even worse for the regional areas.
    Great if you are a developer or project builder, not so good if you want to seel an established home any where

  • by Patrick 29/04/2013 11:26:42 AM

    The original FHBG was introduced to offset the impact of GST on the property market in that existing residential properties were exempt but new construction not so. The inclusion of existing property in those measures was the mistake. The problem now is communication as most of the young people I speak to think that there are no longer any FHB incentives. Further hardly anyone seems to know about First Home Saver Accounts which should be openned by or for (family contributions are permitted and cannot be accessed by the prodigals other than for the designated purpose or a rollover into superannuation) every 18 year old on that critical birthday.

    What is also really needed to improve liquidity in the property market is a complete rethink of property taxes. People who move a number of times during their lives are being penalised with repetitive lump sum stamp duty imposts. In my view a universal annual property tax (not just on land, not just on investment, but on all property) is required to broaden the tax base. A simple grandfather period for those who have purchased in the last 10 years might be needed such as a phase in for up to 10 years from the date of their purchase. The initial inclusion of currently untaxed property will offset the phase in for recently purchased property and the progressive expiry of phase in benefits (based on purchase date) will increase revenue every year along with escalation in line with property value. This will reduce the deposit required to purchase with a standard 80% loan from up to 25% to 20%.