Doors open for more first home buyers

June 21, 2022 12:26 pm in by


First home buyers will be able to choose between an upfront payment or a smaller annual property tax under reforms that will help make home ownership achievable for more NSW residents.

The First Home Buyer Choice is part of an integrated multi-billion dollar housing package announced in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to deliver quality, accessible and affordable housing across NSW.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said one of the Government’s priorities is to make home ownership a reality for more NSW families.

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“We want to lower the barriers to owning a home for first home buyers seeking a place of their own,” Mr Perrottet said.

“In the past two decades, the share of first home buyers under 35 years of age has declined from 67 per cent to 61 per cent. Lifting home ownership is part of this Government’s efforts and ambition to help families who are feeling the squeeze.

“The First Home Buyer Choice will remove one of the largest upfront costs to buying a home and help deliver a brighter future for first home buyers.”

Treasurer Matt Kean said the NSW Government had allocated $728.6 million over the next four years to help first home buyers get a foot on the property ladder.

“We know that first home buyers are being forced to enter the property market later in life and this reform will make the property market more accessible for them,” Mr Kean said.

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“It will mean more NSW residents will get into their first home at an earlier age and achieve the great Australian dream of home ownership.”

For a NSW household with the median income that saves 15 per cent of their income, stamp duty adds about two years to the time required to save the up-front costs of the median NSW dwelling.

The property tax option will be available for properties for up to $1.5 million, helping a broader group to become first home buyers. Together with existing first home buyer initiatives, the Government will offer support to about 97 per cent of all first home buyers, or about 55,000 people per year.

Under the new initiative, first home buyers who opt into the property tax will pay an annual property tax of $400 plus 0.3 per cent of the land value of the property.

Member for Bega, Dr Michael Holland has said while the initiative will help some people, there are many more, who have been literally been left out in the cold.

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“There’s absolutely nothing (in the budget) on homelessness, zero.” 

“There’s been, this morning, the announcement of the revision of stamp duty to first home buyers under a certain value, that’s all very good but homelessness is our crisis here and I can see nothing in that budget that goes towards public housing,” Dr Holland said. 

“We’ve got to get people out of tents and cars, and the way to solve public homelessness is to give people a home, so we need public housing,” he continued. 

“I’ve written a letter, earlier this year, asking the Minister for Housing for just $2 million to support the purchase of Nullica Lodge at Eden which will house 18 to 20 people and I’ve had no response, so you’ve got to deal with priorities here.”

Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the property tax option for first home buyers will help increase home ownership across NSW.

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“The NSW Government is also looking at initiatives to help boost housing supply by cutting planning assessment timeframes, co-funding enabling infrastructure and investing in new and improved social housing,” Mr Roberts said.

“This Government will use every lever at its disposal – including tax, planning, supply, or working with the Commonwealth — to give more people in NSW the opportunity to own their own home.”

Legislation to establish the property tax will be introduced during the second half of 2022 with eligible first home buyers able to apply to opt into the property tax from 16 January 2023. For contracts exchanged in the period between enactment of the legislation and 15 January 2023, eligible first home buyers will be able to opt-in from 16 January 2023 and receive a refund of stamp duty already paid.

From 16 January 2023, eligible first home buyers who opt into the First Home Buyer Choice will not pay stamp duty on their purchase. The property will not be locked into the scheme if it is sold.

First home buyers will continue to be eligible to apply for full stamp duty exemption for properties up to $650,000. Stamp duty concessions remain in place for properties between $650,000 and $800,000.

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