In a joint announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar have declared the government will reissue 4,651 unused grants for first home buyers under the Home Guarantee Scheme from the 2021 financial year.
The scheme allows first home buyers and single parent families purchase properties with a deposit as little as five per cent or two per cent respectively.
Mr Morrison stated the intention is to help buyers who hadn’t had an opportunity to enter the market because of COVID disruptions.
“The pandemic and lockdowns have interrupted the plans of many home buyers this year, so this is about ensuring we give thousands more families the opportunity they need,” the Prime Minister said.
“We want to help Australians into their first home or a home that they've had built for them and their family, and with our support first home buyers are at their highest level in nearly 15 years.”
Mr Sukkar reported that coupled with HomeBuilder and the First Home Super Saver Scheme, more than 300,000 people had been helped into home ownership, including almost 60,000 individuals.
A recent report on the Home Guarantee Scheme showed one in five First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS) guarantees issued went to essential workers, around 6,000 in total. Around a third (34.8 per cent) had been nurses.
A little more than half (52 per cent) of the FHLDS guarantees went to women, a greater proportion than the overall market average of 41 per cent.
More than half (58 per cent) of recipients had been aged under 30.
Homebuyers were able to bring their home purchases forward by an average of four years for the FHLDS and 4.5 years for the New Home Guarantee.
Rachel Slade, NAB group executive for personal banking, welcomed the move, commenting the bank had seen the scheme help thousands of Australians buy a home earlier than expected.
Around 10,000 NAB customers had bought their first home via the scheme over the past two years.
“Customer interest has been beyond our expectations from day one,” Ms Slade said.
“This year’s price rises have made it more challenging for many Australians to enter the housing market, which is why support measures such as these are so important.”
Similarly, CBA executive general manager Michael Baumann added: “This is particularly important as first homebuyers are increasingly faced with affordability challenges with rising house prices and a rising external rate environment.”
CBA has served around 10,000 customers under the scheme.
Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.
Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.