The latest federal government scheme to support single parents to enter the real estate market looks fantastic on paper.
The Family Home Guarantee allows eligible single parents with dependents to apply for a mortgage with a 2 per cent deposit.
The federal government will guarantee the other 18 per cent, which will avoid lenders mortgage insurance.
But as usual, the devil is in the detail.
The initiative, designed to address a real estate market that is unattainable for many, has property price thresholds.
For Tasmania that threshold is $400,000 for a house in a capital city and regional centres and $300,000 for elsewhere in the state. Launceston is believed to be classed as "rest of the state".
This leaves available housing stock with about 25 properties. Twelve of these are priced at offers over $275,00 so will most likely exceed the $300,000 threshold. Two are one-bedroom houses, so wouldn't suit a single parent with a dependent. Of the 11 properties left, nine are two-bedroom.
If Launceston, or the 7250 postcode, was classed as a regional centre the numbers don't improve. According to one real estate website, there are 23 three-bedroom properties for sale under $400,000. Of those, seven are priced to sell above $400,000 with best offers over $399,000 or similar.
Two-bedroom properties offer another 20 options, but the same situation with some prices likely to exceed $400,000.
According to the same real estate website, the median house price for Launceston is $433,000 for two-bedroom houses and $535,000 for three-bedroom properties.
Two-bedroom units median price is $350,000.
A search for all of Northern Tasmania, from Strahan to Ansons Bay to Miena, has 79 three-bedroom properties for sale below $300,000.
Only two reasons come to mind for this situation. Either the federal government wanted to restrict the number of applications and therefore chose a price threshold to do just that, or these decisions were made in Canberra with no research applied to the number of families who could take advantage of the otherwise thoughtful scheme.
Hopefully commonsense will prevail and the thresholds will increase to allow more single parents to enter the property market.