Fears first home grants scheme ending too soon
NICK BODLEY has been saving up his hard-earned pennies and is now planning to buy his first home.
The Lismore-based real estate agent hopes to take advantage of the Federal Government's First Home Buyers' Grant before it ends on June 30.
The grant has been doubled to $14,000, and $21,000 for brand new homes.
“I've been saving for a while, but my decision to buy a place is only pretty recent, like the last week or two,” Nick said.
“The First Home Buyers' Grant has brought a lot of first home buyers out of the woodwork.”
One of those was Alison Renwick, who has been renting in Ballina, but is now about to settle on her first home in Goonellabah.
“The grant was just fantastic for us,” she said.
“It was the thing that pushed us in the direct- ion of buying our own place.
“We were grateful for the money - $14,000 is not to be sneezed at - and I would definitely advocate for the scheme to be extended.”
That's exactly what mortgage brokers are pushing for.
Independent mortgage broker, Loan Market Group, says the increased grant should be extended for another six months.
Group director John Kolenda said more than 5500 people nationally took advantage of the increased grant in October last year, the first month it became available.
Direct inquiries from first home buyers to the brokers rose by more than 300 per cent.
“There was very little interest from first home buyers throughout most of 2008,” Mr Kolenda said.
“But now brokers and property-related websites are being flooded with interest from these sources.”
Mr Kolenda said the grant scheme had helped maintain interest in the property market at the lower and middle levels.
He said the economic downturn and rising unemployment could hit the real estate sector.
“That's why it's important to continue the successful scheme,” he said.