Claims of 'bumper year' for first home buyers slammed

by AB30 Jan 2014
REINSW has rejected claims by the NSW government that 2013 was a “bumper year for first homebuyers of new homes” in NSW, and called for more to be done to help first homebuyers enter the market. 

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird made the comment after figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that more than 6,000 families have taken up the NSW Government’s First Home Owner Grants in 2013, up 80 per cent on the previous year. 

“Our incentives are much more generous than those provided by NSW Labor (with up to $35,240 in assistance available to first homebuyers across the state), and we are unashamedly targeting first homebuyer incentives towards new homes,” said Baird. 

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin questioned the Government’s first homebuyers policy. 

“For Mr Baird to say that it has been a wonderful year for first homebuyers is to ignore the data,” said McKibbin. 

“First homebuyers have exited the market in droves and we only have to look at the ABS’s current home lending figures for evidence of this.” 

Incentives for buyers 

First homebuyers can now only gain assistance from the Government when purchasing a new property and McKibbin called on the Government to reinstate incentives for first homebuyers to buy existing properties. 

“The NSW Government’s policy assumes that we have a demand problem,” McKibbin said. “That is simply not the case. The problem we have is one of supply; there are just not enough properties coming to market. 

“Trying to solve a supply problem by directing demand to new properties demonstrates a misunderstanding of the problem. 

“If the Government is serious about addressing the issue, then they need to take on tax and take on planning.” 

Barriers to entry 

McKibbin said that taxation at all levels of government added considerable cost to property that is ultimately passed to buyers and can price first homebuyers out of the market. 

“It’s a case of tax on tax on tax, which is discriminatory because other asset classes are not subject to the same level of taxation,” he said. 

He also pointed to the “convoluted and expensive planning system” in NSW as being a barrier to new, affordable properties coming onto the market. 

“There was some movement last year by Minister for Planning Brad Hazzard to address these issues, but to date there have been no changes,” he said. 

McKibbin called on the Government to show first homebuyers more respect and understand the important role they play in the market. 

“First homebuyers are an integral part of the property chain. If you have first homebuyers in the market, they create churn, it’s a more vibrant market and that will flow on down the line – benefiting not just first homebuyers, but also the market generally and increasing Government revenue.” 


  • by annie 30/01/2014 9:17:07 AM

    only $15k for most these days, not $32k. Investors have pushed prices so high that $15k amounts to not much.

  • by Country Broker 30/01/2014 9:58:56 AM

    so true

  • by Patrick McMenamin 30/01/2014 10:10:27 AM

    First Home Saver Accounts should be made a commission paying product for ACL holders and their Credit Representatives. Families should open such an account for every member on their 18th birthday. Savers plus their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or older siblings can all contribute on terms agreed and the funds can only be used towards a home or paid into super. Interest earned is only taxed at 15% and in addition the Commonwealth will make a co-contribution of up to $1,020 per annum. You can accumulate up to $90,000 which can easily be achieved over 10 years. So a couple can accumulate $180,000 before they are 30 of which around $20,400 is government subsidy. The problem is the product is not promoted or advertised, in my view to enable policticians to claim credit at little cost.