Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the state government would be extending the $20,000 First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) for people buying or building a new home in regional Victoria for a further 12 months.
The regional grant, which had been due to end in June, will be extended until the middle of 2021.
According to Mr Pallas, the extension will provide certainty to the regional construction industry as the state deals with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, while also providing Victorians the opportunity to live locally and enter the housing market for the first time.
“We know the coronavirus pandemic is making it even tougher for young people to achieve their dreams of home ownership – that’s why we’re extending the grant, which has helped so many regional Victorians,” Mr Pallas said.
The change will be included in legislation that the government is looking to pass in the emergency sitting of Parliament this week.
In 2017, the Labor government in Victoria doubled the regional FHOG from $10,000 to $20,000 to tackle housing affordability. Since then, more than 8,800 regional FHOGs have been provided, which have resulted in savings of $176 million for home buyers.
The regional grant is part of the government’s Homes for Victorians package, which also offers a $10,000 FHOG for eligible purchases in metropolitan Melbourne and offers stamp duty exemptions and discounts for new homes up to $750,000.
To be eligible for the grant, the purchaser or purchasers must be first home buyers buying or building a property valued at $750,000 or less, and it must be used as the principal place of residence for 12 continuous months following settlement.
The grant is available for first home purchases across 48 councils.