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Thursday, December 3, 2020

First home buyers winning on government schemes

ACT and Federal Government housing incentives were released on Thursday this week, tempting potential home buyers to jump into the market.

In addition to the Federal Government’s $25,000 grant for building a new home, the ACT Government announced it would also be making heavy reductions to stamp duty costs for 12 months.

Local first home buyer, Matt Smith, said he and his partner had been looking to buy a home since the beginning of the year, but would consider speeding up the process to take advantage of the incentives.

“We initially went in and spoke to a mortgage broker who recommended the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and we did some research,” he said.  

“The scheme was great because you only needed a 5% deposit but it limited what we could buy.

“We are both based in NSW but we are looking to buy in the ACT because properties under $500,000 are eligible for that scheme, while it’s slightly less in NSW.”

The couple had been looking between South Canberra at already established houses, and some newer developments in Googong, NSW.

Mr Smith said they had been concerned about how high the price of stamp duty was in the ACT.

“We were looking at South Canberra, but we really factored in that there would be a large stamp duty cost involved,” he said.

“If we had have bought before the end of the financial year it would have been waived because we would have earnt under the threshold, but we will be over that now.

“In NSW there is no stamp duty for properties under $650,000 so that was really tempting.”

The ACT Government incentive will now waive stamp duty costs for new land single residential blocks and off-the-plan apartment and townhouse purchases up to $500,000.

It will also reduce stamp duty costs for off-the-plan apartment and townhouse purchases between $500,000 and $750,000 by $11,400.

The stamp duty concession came into effect on Thursday this week, 4 June, and will remain in place until 30 June 2021.  

Details of the Federal Government’s ‘HomeBuilder’ scheme were also released on Thursday, enabling singles with an income of less than $125,000 or couples with a joint income of $200,000 to access a $25,000 grant to build a new house.

Mr Smith said it may tempt him and his partner to lean more towards buying within the ACT.

“If we could get into somewhere without stamp duty that would be huge,” he said.

“It still depends on the area and the price of the house as well.

If we were eligible for these extra incentives and we could apply, we would push to get something purchased by the end of the year.”

Find more property news and listings at Canberra Weekly Real Estate.

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