Property giant reacts to state budgets

The Northern Territory’s budget is a welcome boost for first home buyers (FHBs), but the Western Australian government’s decision not to reinstate some subsidies for buyers is an opportunity lost, according to leading real estate group Raine & Horne.

Glenn Grantham, general manager of Raine & Horne Darwin, said the The 50 per cent stamp duty discount announced in the Northern Territory’s recent budget concession will create the perfect storm for FHBs at a time of easing house prices in Darwin, as well as historic-low interest rates.

The discount applies to established properties valued up to $450,000, and is capped at $10,000 for more expensive properties.

“This will get more first home buyers into the market, which is excellent policy-making in light of the low volumes we’ve experienced over the last two years,” Mr said.

According to Mr Grantham, the number of inquiries from FHBs has picked up significantly since the budget announcement, with housing markets in Palmerston expected to be the major beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the WA government’s decision not to reinstate the $3,000 FHOG for the purchase of established homes in its 2016-17 budget is an opportunity lost, according to Raine & Horne’s general manager for WA, Craig Abbott.

“Many first home buyers have a preference for Perth’s inner and middle-ring suburbs so they can be closer to their jobs,” he said.

“For many, this means securing an established house or apartment rather than a new property, which are more common on the city’s fringes.”

Mr Abbott said the real estate group has seen a drop of almost 9 per cent in the number of FHBs securing established homes as a result of the WA government’s decision to cut the $3,000 grant in last year’s budget.

“Tragically, some of these first home buyers are being lost to the property market, as they prefer to stay in rental properties closer to work and the entertainment delights offered by inner Perth,” he said.

[Related: Foreign investor taxes a 'gravely risky strategy']

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