Tasmanian government announce $20,000 First Home Builders Grant extension

FUNDING: Housing Industry Association state executive director Rick Sassin and Construction Minister Guy Barnett announce the extension of the First Home Builders Grant. Picture: Michelle Wisbey

FUNDING: Housing Industry Association state executive director Rick Sassin and Construction Minister Guy Barnett announce the extension of the First Home Builders Grant. Picture: Michelle Wisbey

The $20,000 First Home Builders Grant will be extended for another year in an attempt to tackle housing affordability across the state. 

Construction Minister Guy Barnett announced on Sunday that the upcoming state budget would extend the grant initiative for another 12 months.

The grant was doubled from its previous rate of $10,000 in last year’s budget. 

But the announcement was not welcomed by all, with the Real Estate Institute of Tasmania labelling it a “disappointing” move and instead calling for changes to stamp duty on established properties. 

Mr Barnett also announced that from July 1, the government’s changes to stamp duty would mean duty for house and land packages would only be paid on the value of the land and existing improvements.

This change would be available to anyone purchasing a house and land package, not just first home buyers. 

“We have more than 20,000 people in the building and construction sector, it will be a boost to jobs and in terms of housing affordability,” Mr Barnett said. 

“This will provide some relief to those that want to build their first home.

“It’s been popular, it’s delivered the goods and we want to continue that for the next 12 months.” 

But REIT chief executive Mark Berry said the organisation was instead lobbying for different stamp duty changes.  

“The First Home Builders Grant, when first initiated, was very successful and it helped a lot of first home buyers and builders get into that market, but the REIT data indicates that is very much slowing right down,” Mr Berry said. 

“The fact that they’re not being taken up we attribute to the land, and the area of that land is not that attractive to the first home buyer because they want to be a little bit closer to the city.

“What the REIT is lobbying for is stamp duty relief for first home buyers on established property, and have that at a capped level … but also have it means tested.” 

Housing Industry Association state executive director Rick Sassin welcomed the move and said the announcement was a “win for everybody” in Tasmania. 

“We think it’s going to create a lot of confidence in our market and continue growth in our sector, particularly with jobs,” Mr Sassin said.

“There is a good sense of confidence in our economy and we’re going to see that continue to grow.” 

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