'We hope it's enough': State unveils massive $30,000 first home grant

In an effort to kick-start its tepid local housing market, one Australian state is now offering a $30,000 grant to first home buyers



Tasmania has unveiled the nation’s most generous first home builder grant (FHBG) ever - $30,000 – in an effort to jump-start the state’s flagging economy.

The scheme doubles the previous $15,000 grand and was announced yesterday by premier Lara Giddings and essentially pays the cost of a home deposit.

"This is equivalent to some people's after-tax salary," Stuart Clues, executive director of the Tasmanian region of the Housing Industry Association, tells News Ltd reporters.

"We hope it's enough incentive to have a gold-rush mentality among people trying to get into the housing market in Melbourne and Sydney. Hopefully, this will be enough for them to decide to come and have a crack at living in Tasmania, even if it's only for five years and then see what happens."

Housing industry professionals are overwhelmingly in favour of the move, effective immediately, with LJ Hooker’s Tasmanian regional manager and head of LJ Hooker Home Loans, Paul O’Regan, saying it will undoubtedly stimulate the market.

“For first home buyers in the $350,000 and $400,000 price bracket, the grant covers the normal minimum 5% deposit required by lenders, as well as a significant portion of the further start-up costs like government stamp duty.”

LJ Hooker recently released a white paper, First Home Buyers; a dynamic and changing market, which revealed 1,800 FHBs in Tasmania were expected to enter the first home buyer market in 2014.

This forecasted state figure is up 23% compared with the previous 12 months when there were 1,464 FHBs in Tasmania.

However, the predicted number of Tasmanian FHB is now expected to surge even further with the doubling of the new grant, says O’Regan.

“Buying your first home is an exciting time and with a wide range of mortgage products available. However, there are also rules around first home owner grant eligibility, so now is the time for people to speak with a mortgage broker who can determine the right loan package for your circumstances.”

O’Regan says a recruitment drive is also taking place in Tasmania for more home loan specialists to meet the expected demand of first home buyers and buyers in general.

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