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House & Garden

  • Written by Martin Philip

Sydney 29 March 2015. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has renewed its call for the reinstatement of first home owner grants for existing housing ahead of the year’s first State parliamentary sitting.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said strengthening first home owner incentives should be towards the top of the political agenda for the Palaszczuk Government in 2015.
 
"This is an important issue out there in the community, with so many Queenslanders wanting to see first home owner grants made available to all buyers,” she said.

“We believe it was a short-sighted move to restrict first home owner grants to new home purchases, but there’s a real opportunity now to put that right.

“We’ve already held some very positive discussions with Treasurer Curtis Pitt on this issue and we’ll continue to make the case for this important economic reform.

“Reinstating the full spectrum of first home owner incentives would unlock of millions of dollars in investment, delivering an important boost to the Queensland economy.

“It would also greatly assist Queensland’s residential housing recovery and help thousands of extra Queenslanders to realise their dream of homeownership.”

Ms Mercorella said there was no sound basis for the preferential treatment which currently exists for purchasers of newly built properties.

“There needs to be a level playing field for all first home buyers in Queensland,” she said.

“When grants for existing housing were abolished in 2012 first home owner rates experienced a marked decline, but this could be reversed with the reinstatement of a more even-handed scheme.

“The current two-tiered system favouring one class of homebuyer over another has simply resulted in thousands of Queenslanders being locked out of the residential real estate market.

“We acknowledge there is a need to create more housing supply, but first home owners shouldn’t be limited in their choice as they are under the current system.”

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