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Grant end spurs on buyers

By Rick Schafer

BUYERS and sellers are rushing to have contracts signed before changes to the first-home buyer’s grant this month.

Agents are reporting more calls from first-home buyers and sellers after it was announced in this week’s State Budget that the $7000 First Home Owner Grant would be axed.

The $7000 grant ends on October 11. It has been be replaced with a $15,000 First Home Owner Construction Grant for new homes, homes bought off the plan and new homes being built by an owner-builder.

The new grant applies to contracts signed on or after September 12, or in the case of owner-builders, when the foundations are laid on or after that date.

Helene Shepherd, from the PRDnationwide branch in Ipswich, said first-home buyers had been calling from 6.30am on Wednesday, the day after the Budget was handed down.

She said they wanted to look at properties that day so they didn’t miss out on the $7000 grant for existing homes and that she was “booked solid” to show people through homes for sale for four days.

“It (the deadline for the grant) will encourage people who were considering making their move to really move,” she said.

But she said it would be a short-term gain.

“We predict first-home-buyer activity will slow after October for a few months, then the cycle of real estate will continue,” she said.

“If I was considering selling a property, I would have it on the market now.”

Rob Honeycombe, from Bees Nees Realty in Brisbane, said he was getting calls from sellers wanting to put their properties on the market to take advantage of the increased competition from buyers.

But Mr Honeycombe said while the deadline might encourage some first-home buyers to move quicker, he was sceptical about a bigger impact.

He said most first-home buyers in inner Brisbane spent between $400,000 and $500,000 and that the $7000 grant was neither a deal-maker or a deal-breaker.

“The grant hadn’t been increased since 2000 when it was introduced as part of the GST initiatives,” he said.

“So with no indexing in that time its relevance has faded strongly over 12 years.”

Sue Buchanan, from Blocksidge & Ferguson, which specialises in inner-city properties, said she thought there would be some in increase in activity but wasn’t expecting to be “knocked over in the rush”.

She said most first-home buyers had about $350,000 to spend and while they could get the new $15,000 grant, most new or off-the-plan properties would be outside their budget.

Source: Courier Mail

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