Victoria expands bonus for first-home buyers

Posted on 7/05/2009  

Victoria’s First Home Bonus has been increased amid a record $11.5 billion State Budget focused on facilitating major projects to generate jobs. 

The State Government has extended the First Home Bonus by 12 months and increased the amounts available to households building their first home. 

Previously, those building their first home received a state bonus of $5,000. This has been increased to $11,000 from 1 July. Regional first-home buyers, who previously received an additional $3,000 from the State Government, will now get an extra $4,500. So households building a first home in Victoria outside Melbourne will receive $15,500 from the State Government. 

The move comes as many in the property industry have been expressing (unnecessary) concern about the looming 30 June deadline for the Federal Government’s First Home Owners Grant boost. 

Those claiming the active first-home buyers will stop when the boost ends on 30 June have overlooked the fact, revealed by a number of research surveys, that soft prices and low interest rates are bigger factors for first-time buyers than the FHOG. They have also overlooked the impact of state incentives for home buyers, which include additional grants and/or stamp duty concessions in most states and territories.

The measure included in the Victorian Budget emphasizes the point that there will be plenty of inducements for first-home buyers beyond 30 June. 

Not surprisingly, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria and the Master Builders Association have welcomed the Budget measure. 

REIV President Adrian Jones says March Quarter median prices showed the benefit of assistance to first-home buyers. “The extension of the bonus by the State Government was very welcome given the uncertainty around the Federal Government’s Boost,” he says. 

The big-spending State Budget is projected to secure 35,000 construction jobs in FY2010, with the major focus on building or upgrading schools and transport infrastructure. 

The infrastructure spend includes $3 billion for the first phase of the State Government’s previously-announced $38 billion transport plan. The Epping train line will be extended to South Morang, the Sydenham-Sunbury line will be electrified and 20 new trains will be provided. 

Over $400 million will be spent rebuilding or upgrading 113 schools across the state. 


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