The NSW government has announced that first home buyers are “back in the game” thanks to regulatory changes the government introduced in mid-2017.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the number of first home buyers in the market has tripled since the introduction of a housing affordability package. More than 19,000 people bought their first home in NSW over the last six months, up from 5,400 in the corresponding period 12 months earlier.
According to the latest ABS housing finance figures, the most recent financial quarter represented the highest number of first home buyers since 2009.
A total of 104,000 housing loans were made to first home buyers during 2017 compared with 88,800 in 2016, surging to make up 18 per cent of owner occupier housing loans.
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Under the new concessions, stamp duty was eliminated for first homebuyers purchasing a new or existing property valued up to $650,000, providing stamp duty savings for purchases of homes valued between $650,000 and $800,000.
Housing Industry Association executive director David Bare said that he advocates for the elimination of stamp duty across a larger bracket of house prices.
"Having more first-home buyers in the market is a good sign because they have been out of the market for so long," Bare said.
"It shows that stamp duty is the reason why people don't go into the market. A more structured application of the reduction in stamp duty will have a better effect. They've struggled to keep up with prices."
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Shadow treasurer Ryan Park was quick to point out that ABS figures showed that there were 9,188 more first home buyers in Victoria and 2,047 more in Queensland when compared with NSW. He accused the government of “cherry-picking [the] data”.