First home beyond reach

Greg Brown from the Australian writes: THE dream of buying a home for the first time is slipping away in NSW and Queensland. Buyer numbers plummeted 44 per cent in NSW in the year to June and hit an all-time low in Queensland.

In Western Australia, new buyers soared to 19,946 -- the second highest number on record, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. It was the first time Western Australia has had more first-home buyers than NSW and Queensland, where state government grants programs were cut in 2011 and 2012, MacroPlan Chief Economist Jason Anderson said.

In NSW, the stamp duty concession was removed in 2011 and the first-home buyer grant was limited to new dwellings a year ago.

While Queensland also cut grants, it reintroduced a principal place of residence concession, saving families up to $7175 on the cost of their home, and the grants and concessions offered for first-home buyers were the most generous of any state.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said the limiting of the grant to new homes had increased construction and housing supply.

"We make no apology for policy settings that have clearly boosted supply, as the statistics on housing approvals and construction in NSW illustrate," he said.

"We've taken every measure to get the housing sector, which is so vital to the NSW economy, moving again."

RAMS chief executive Melos Sulicich said investors competed for properties that first-home buyers would usually buy.

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MacroPlan has recently undertaken studies on first-home buyers and investors across Australia. Contact Jason Anderson, Chief Economist  to to discuss your property research requirements.