First home buyer scheme advances to next step

Passage of the legislation likely to “make a real difference,” says association head

First home buyer scheme advances to next step


By Madison Utley

The Senate has passed the legislation that will move the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme closer to becoming a reality.  

The passage of the bill, originally introduced one month ago, means the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) will be able to offer the deposit guarantees underpinning the scheme. Further, the legislation establishes a new housing research function within NHFIC, supported by $25min funding, to investigate housing demand, supply and affordability.

Housing Industry Association (HIA) managing director, Graham Wolfe said, “HIA has long argued that there needs to be a national approach to helping first home buyers (FHB) enter the market and to address the time that saving a deposit now takes.

“Along with stamp duty and securing finance, the time it takes to save a home deposit remains one of the main barriers to people’s home ownership aspiration.”

According to Wolfe, helping 10,000 first home buyers a year achieve home ownership will take “some of this pressure off” the current market.

HIA expects the scheme to “make a real difference,” estimating it could save an average FHB with less than 20% deposit tens of thousands of dollars over the life of their loan.

“Independent research shows that half of all renters believe they will never afford to buy a home, even though over 90% of renters would like to. [Fortunately,] renters will also benefit from the Scheme as more new houses and more home owners mean more supply and less pressure on rental prices,” said Wolfe.

“It is widely accepted that long term, secure and stable housing tenure helps people achieve many of their life goals. Home ownership matters to the wellbeing of the economy and the community.

“HIA will continue to work with the government to see the Scheme rolled out from 1 January 2020,” the managing director concluded.

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